Iron Mountain begins tracking hourly energy consumption
US-based data centre operator and secure information storage firm Iron Mountain has joined a small list of early adopters by committing to take steps to track the hourly renewable energy load of its data centres.
To do this, Iron Mountain is partnering with two renewable energy companies, RPD Energy and Direct Energy, who are offering a much more granular form of some of the annual or even monthly power purchase agreements (PPAs) increasingly used by hyperscalers to secure green power for their facilities.
According to the company, conventional PPAs only match the buyer’s electricity load on an annual or monthly basis, which can mean that fluctuations in demand require the customer to dip back into the local grid to support usage spikes. In the US, where Iron Mountain operates, even briefly relying on the local power grid can make for a significant increase in carbon emissions.
By tracking hourly usage from the company’s generator and comparing it to Iron Mountain’s hourly usage, the arrangement provides “a future view of how firms can transition to truly carbon free energy supply.”
The new structure is intended to bring a level of transparency and flexibility to Iron Mountain’s power sourcing process which is hard to find elsewhere in the industry. The program is being kicked off as a way of powering two data centres (as well as more than 60 other buildings) that the company owns in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, which will be better serviced with 100% renewable energy.
Chris Pennington, Global Energy Manager at Iron Mountain Data commented: “Iron Mountain is seeking to move beyond the conventional approach of matching renewable power on an annual basis, to matching renewable power generation with its hourly energy use. This is ultimately the path needed to decarbonise energy use.”
This announcement supports Iron Mountain’s sustainability efforts at a time when the company’s load across its global platform of data centres is growing significantly.
Earlier this week, Iron Mountain also announced the signing of two significant leases with a Fortune 11 technology customer to provide a further 6 MW of capacity in its AZP-2 data centre in Phoenix, Arizona.
AZP-2 is a hyperscale-ready facility built over three stories and also powered by 100% renewable energy. The data centre is expected to have a total capacity of around 58 MW upon full buildout.
Equinix: Digital leaders expect changes to working patterns
A global report released by Equinix has revealed that digital leaders expect long-term changes to the way people work.
As part of the report, the data infrastructure company surveyed 2,600 IT decision-makers from several different businesses spanning 26 countries in the Americas, Asia-Pacific and EMEA regions. The study also highlighted the biggest technology trends affecting global businesses and how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted digital infrastructure plans.
Talking about companies’ expansion strategies, Claire Macland, Senior Vice President of Global Marketing at Equinix, said: “Many companies are now investing more in their digital infrastructure to enable them to embrace a hybrid working model and thrive in the new world of work we all find ourselves in.
“Despite headwinds in many sectors, many organizations are continuing to expand physically and virtually into new markets and regions around the world”, she said.
The report drew the following conclusions:
- 64% of the 2,600 digital leaders surveyed believed there will be “long-term changes to both how and where people will work in the future.
- 57% of global companies intend to expand into new regions despite the effects of the pandemic
- 51% of businesses worldwide say they have rearchitected their IT infrastructure so that it can meet the demands of remote and hybrid working. Digital transformation has also been accelerated due to an increase in businesses’ technology budgets.
How might digital transformation be affected post-pandemic?
COVID-19 has demanded that companies make several changes to the way that they operate, including digital transformation. According to the study, 47% of those surveyed reported that they have accelerated their digital transformation plans because of the Coronavirus pandemic. A further 42% of organisations said their budgets have increased to keep up with the growth of digital transformation.
Another change in adapting to the pandemic was to businesses’ IT strategies with six in 10 companies saying that it has been revised in response to the situation. 58% said they are looking to invest in technology to “improve agility’ post-COVID.
When asked about their priorities for their digital strategy, 80% of respondents said that digitising their infrastructure was of utmost importance, while 57% viewed interconnection as a ‘key facilitator’ of digital transformation.
"This increasing focus on digitization and expansion is one of the reasons why Equinix has continued to invest in its own growth. We completed 16 new expansions in 2020—our most active build year ever—and expect to continue to evolve Platform Equinix to support our customers as they continue on their digital transformation journey”, said Claire Macland.
Potential concerns disperse over expansion plans being halted by COVID-19
The study has also revealed that organisations’ previous concerns that the pandemic will negatively affect their business expansion plans have been lessened.
57% of businesses have said that they “still have plans” to expand into new regions and of that percentage, nearly two-thirds (63%) plan to do so virtually instead of investing in physical IT infrastructure.
The full Equinix report can be found here.