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Four Ways to Reduce the Environmental Impact of Data storage

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Companies have massively migrated their servers and data to the cloud, particularly for cost and performance reasons. But the use of the cloud and datacenters scattered around the world continue to have a negative environmental impact. With the arrival of 5G and the rise of technologies such as AI, global data volumes continue to skyrocket along with the number of datacenters.

The data processing industry produces more greenhouse gas emissions than other carbon-heavy industry such as automotive, aviation or energy. According to the physician Alex Wissner-Gross, the CO2 emitted by emails around the world is the equivalent of 1000 round trips from Paris to New-York. Every hour! What is the impact of data storage on the environment? How can Miria, Atempo’s Data Management platform, help organizations reduce this impact?


Datacenters are among the worst global polluters  

When we point fingers at the major polluters the “culprits” are usually oil and chemical companies, car manufacturers and agriculture. However, certain major digital companies pollute as much as whole countries. To ensure digital services access, cloud servers run 24/24. The energy used to power and cool the data and compute operations is frequently fossil-based fuels.

In 2020, data center consumption stood at 650 terawatt-hours, higher than the entire energy consumption of France. With the exponential growth in data storage needs, this figure could be multiplied by 5 by 2030.

To reduce energy consumption and environmental impact of data storage, there are more sustainable solutions.



Digital providers are looking for solutions to reduce the environmental impact of datacenters and also reduce costs in a context of higher energy bills. One example is the use of evaporative cooling solutions as well as smart temperature and lighting controls. Surplus heat can be rerouted to heat homes. Providers also now power down certain servers during off-peak hours and days when there is less demand.

Here are 4 energy friendly storage solutions:

  • Tape storage: tape uses less energy than disk. The financial cost of keeping 1 petabyte of data on tape for 5 years is 3.5 times less than that of disk storage, making it a perfect medium for “cold data”,
  • Single Server Storage: storing data on one server can reduce the need for excess server power,
  • Renewable energies: on site or in the cloud, datacenters should depend more on renewable energy, particularly geothermal and hydraulic energies. In a 2018 study, the researcher Johan Falk noted that the digital industry could cut its greenhouse gas emissions in half simply by switching to renewable energy,
  • Respect of environmental norms: actively question the measures taken by your cloud provider to reduce the environmental impact of data storage. Has the provider committed to the highest environmental standards (ISO 50001, ISO 14001, etc.).



Miria is a Data management solution built around five pillars: Migration, Backup, Archiving, Mobility and Analytics.

Mira for Archiving makes moving data offline easier and helps to reduce data storage energy consumption. Miria enables the detection duplicate data with the possibility to delete it from storages and further reduce the energy footprint.

Companies are facing increasing storage capacity needs which also push the storage bill higher. It has never been more apposite to separate “hot data” used daily and “cold data” rarely used but which still consumes energy. Miria moves this data securely and automatically to less expensive and lower energy storages. Miria for Analytics will reveal how your data is distributed allowing you to consolidate this data and significantly reduce its environmental impact.


Learn more:

Topics: Storage, Miria for archiving, Miria for Analytics, sustainable storage, datacenters

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