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Backing Up With the Environment in Mind

Using energy saving light bulbs, turning down the heating or investing in solar panels are a few common ways to go about reducing your impact on the environment. But have you thought about extending those green fingers to your backup plans?
Going green has two primary benefits: you’re reducing the strain on the environment and making financial savings. The latter will probably make some company’s eyes light up more than the former. This article will take a look at how you can adjust your backup plan to best benefit the environment and, in turn, your pocket.
One way you can go green is by investing in hardware that has environmental benefits over your current set up. Various tech items are branded with an ‘Energy Star’ sticker. This is given to products that, amongst other factors, must contribute significant energy savings. As such, investing in a server with the Energy Star marking could bring cost savings to your company. Although the initial spend may be higher than an alternative server, you’ll probably find that the benefits come in the long term.
There are also other ways to keep the environment in mind when backing up. One of these is to have decent airflow in the space occupied by your backup systems. Iron Mountain reports that a good airflow system could boost the efficiency of your air condition system by up to 15 percent. They suggest that even something simple like plastic shower curtains, used to separate hot and cold airflow, will do the job nicely.
A lot of companies may also find that they’re wasting energy on inefficient backup solutions. Data that isn’t accessed often could be stored on tape, since these don’t require any power to run if not being used. In a survey of 500 IT technicians, nearly three quarters of them said that by better managing their backup plans they could save energy.
A lot of companies are now turning to cloud storage to help with their backups. However, there are things you need to consider if you’re hoping the cloud will help with your environmental impact.
First of all, you might want to try and find out how green your cloud provider is. Although it’ll offset energy usage from your company, it’s just passing it off to another one. The information might not be displayed on their website, but if you give them a ring or send an email then hopefully they’d be obliged to tell you if they’re concerned about the environment. Cooling systems and energy efficient hardware and systems are things to look for.
Using cloud storage can also help reduce travel costs, if your current backup system is stored offsite. No longer will your technicians need to travel back and forth to a data centre if everything is stored in the cloud. However, the same effect could be achieved by centralising your backup solution onsite.
A study from Greenpeace showed that costs of powering cloud data centres could be 70 percent higher than previously thought; they suggest using solar panels and offsite data centres that use renewable energy in order to reduce your backup costs.


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