Sean: Gartner estimates that data centers account for around 0.5% of all global carbon emissions. As demand for cloud solutions continues to grow, so will the amount of energy required to power data centers. Organizations like Greenpeace (see their "Dirty Data Campaign") have already been active in trying to mobilize consumer and investor opinion around the sources of energy that power the world’s largest Internet brands. In the United Kingdom, we are also seeing legislation target large users of power, including the data center industry. We have already ensured that our U.S. facilities are 100% powered by renewables and our cloud solutions are designed to leverage computer resource as effectively possible. In Iceland, we see a way to help organizations both reduce their carbon footprint and reduce their costs. The country’s renewable utilities offer the ability to fix power costs for up to 20 years. In turn, the ability to leverage free-air cooling drastically reduces the total power draw and utility spend for the site. When you combine those factors with the efficient resource utilization designed into the DNA of our own solutions, we feel it’s a very compelling proposition.
What kinds of information/data will you get from monitoring tools that you can then share with your customers to showcase that the services are really "green"? And at what level will you share that data?
Sean: Broadly, there are two types of data that we can make available to our customers – the first is about the power drawn by their equipment if we are housing dedicated or co-located infrastructure for them, and we offer real-time and historical data. The second is much more granular data on infrastructure performance, right down to component level – so the utilization of a single processor or component of RAM. We make all of this data available to our clients via a secure portal, but we also spend a great deal of effort organizing that data into information that’s meaningful to our client’s business. We build automated reports to measure application performance and the impact on infrastructure. Our experience is that when clients outsource infrastructure or applications, their concerns are often around security and loss of control. Transparency of granular detail, combined with the definition and ongoing measurement of service metrics are a key way to engender trust and let clients see the value in their solutions.
What is the most significant aspect of your service that you’d like to highlight to potential customers?