Sustainable cloud storage can cut carbon emissions
Data specialist PeaSoup is urging UK NHS Hospital Trusts to reduce the risk of system failures and cut their carbon emissions by switching to cloud-based data services powered by eco-friendly and high-performance liquid immersion cooling technology. Many NHS Hospital Trusts in the UK store thousands of bytes of data, often across a number of locations including on-site, off-site and cloud-based
The company says the sheer volume of data, backup and restore services means that they are not always aligned, putting a Trust at risk of exposure to system failures and service speed and downtime issues. PeaSoup says it has significant experience with this as it is already established in a large NHS Trust in the South. PeaSoup completed an extensive gap analysis which uncovered multiple levels of data storage and backup technologies, some being seriously outdated. A move to cloud-based storage enabled the Trust to store all its data in one place, but also made it more resilient and sustainable, plus have a single service provider for backup and recovery.
Art Malinowski, Head of Marketing at PeaSoup explained: “There’s a massive worldwide drive for cloud platforms from sustainable cloud providers and a resulting fear of disruption and of course the potential cost of change. Data storage isn’t always the first port of call for switching to more sustainable solutions, but it can reap numerous benefits for a surprisingly low cost.
“Liquid immersion cooling is an emerging solution in a crowded cloud/data centre marketplace that answers the corporate social responsibility dilemma for data storage, backup and recovery for the data-reliant business.”
Carbon neutrality, or net-zero, can be a challenging target to reach in a large Trust with many moving parts, particularly with guidance changes since Covid, however, data storage is one area where changes are ahead of the curve. Liquid immersion cooling is a technology solution that reduces the energy needed to cool a physical data centre, where individual servers or units are submerged in a dialectic liquid, which is kept at a near-constant temperature.
Cloud scalability is no issue, as proven in this recent NHS project where initially it was suggested around 80TB (terabytes) of space was needed, and currently it’s predicted that by the end of 2022 the storage level will progress to around 1PB (petabyte or 1000 TB). This visibly moving target is potentially about to move up a notch as the NHS Trust expands, and will be incorporated into another, and thereby further analysis will be needed into their data storage and backup & recovery solutions.
Typically, when data is spread across several locations (for example a retailer with a number of outlets) it creates the ideal scenario for hyperconverged technology. This offers the business flexibility to add and extract data, and increase storage capacity simply by adding pods to their cloud cluster. Hyperconvergence makes the IT infrastructure more agile and efficient, and flexible enough to manage the amount of data, and displacement typical of a large organisation.
Most current data centres disseminate hot air out of the building and into the atmosphere because they use inefficient air conditioning cooling systems to cool their IT infrastructure. Cooling systems absorb huge amounts of energy to work efficiently, plus an uninterruptible power supply is needed to ensure stability and reliability.
Conversely, liquid immersion cooling provides temperature stability, improves the reliability and efficiency of IT servers, extends life span by up to 40%, and reduces the need for replacement of IT parts.
Switching to a sustainable cloud-based service such as PeaSoup Eco Cloud can eliminate these potential problems, as well as provide a comprehensive review of data storage, gap analysis and backup services.
PeaSoup says despite the impressive-sounding terminology, this environmentally friendly approach to data storage may not be as costly as you think as PeaSoup is a carbon-negative company, and as such its energy costs are both low and all from renewable sources. The company says this revolutionary technique has proven to reduce power needs by up to 40% when compared to a legacy air-conditioning cooled data centre.
Not only does this technology offer a sustainable and CSR-friendly source of data storage, but can also provide a transferable source of heat which can be used to heat surrounding buildings in the vicinity of the data centre. The move towards this greener and more planet-friendly technology is driven by consumer awareness about carbon and the potential to reduce output. There is huge potential to reverse the damage caused by the industrialisation of our environment, we just need the knowledge of the changes we can make.