- The White House released a new Data Center Optimization Initiative that requires federal government agencies to get approval from the federal CIO before building new data centers or expanding existing ones.
- Any new data center projects will have to meet strict energy saving parameters in order to gain approval. Agencies will also be required to monitor and report their data center's energy efficiency.
- The new policy is expected to help save more than $1 billion by the end of fiscal 2018.
The new policy outlines metrics for energy metering and power efficiency and mandates that agencies consider consolidation or closure for data centers that cannot meet the new standards. The new policy, which supersedes a 2010 effort to close down data centers, still calls for closing more than half of the federal government’s overall data center inventory.
Agencies are encouraged to use cloud services or share data centers as another way of improving efficiency and cutting costs.
Sustainable data centers are a growing concern for private tech companies as well, as the large centers run around the clock, constantly using resources. Last month, Facebook announced a new datacenter in Ireland that will focus on energy efficiency, including server and storage hardware from the Open Compute Project, which is designed to improve performance while reducing power needs.
Last week, Microsoft announced it was bringing on a Director for Datacenter Sustainability, a newly created role designed to focus on making Microsoft's growing network of data centers more sustainable with a decreased environmental impact.