Microsoft's Dirty Data

Background - 17 April, 2012
Thanks to a strong brand among consumers and businesses, Microsoft cloud offerings are booming, and its cloud infrastructure investments have soared accordingly. However, Microsoft has plans to power a new data center with dirty energy.


(Download the entire report: How Clean is Your Cloud?)

While data center efficiency has been a priority for Microsoft, and the company has been willing to share efficiency insights and innovations throughout the IT sector, a new data center under construction in Virginia will very likely be powered by dirty energy.

Microsoft could clearly influence utilities to move toward a grid with more renewable energy, but it must demonstrate a preference for those sources. Currently, Microsoft’s renewable energy usage goals are a mere 25 percent of all energy used (though data centers in Ireland and the United Kingdom are contracted for 100 percent renewable energy).

Microsoft claims a mix of renewable and direct installation sources, but specific details remain unavailable. There is progress, however. Microsoft has been vocal in its commitment to reduce carbon emissions, and is more transparent in terms of its efficiency research and investment data than many peers.

The company also deserves praise for implementing several industry best practices for establishing and maintaining an energy efficient facility. For example, Microsoft is working to decrease its PUE to 1.125 in 2012.

(Download the entire report: How Clean is Your Cloud?)