Towards building green data centers in Vietnam

Vietnam is promoting the provision of data center services, cloud and this is also the trend of the world.

What is a green data center?

Green data centers are defined as data storage, management and dissemination in which mechanical, lighting, electrical and computer systems are designed to maximize energy efficiency and minimize environmental impact. The construction and operation of green data centers includes advanced technologies and strategies.

Some of the technologies and strategies used in green data centers include: building footprint is minimized; low-emission building materials, carpets and paints; sustainable landscapes; e-waste recycling; catalytic converter on backup generator; alternative energy such as photovoltaic technology, heat pumps and evaporative cooling technology; and hybrid or electric vehicles.

Building and certifying a green data center or other facility is costly initially, but can save long-term costs when operating and maintaining. Another advantage is that green facilities provide employees with a healthy, comfortable working environment. Green facilities also strengthen ties with local communities.

Why is it necessary to have a green data center? According to the Storage Networking Industry Association, energy consumption is one of the highest costs of a data center. This is also one of the top 10 issues that concern data center operators.

Green data center market size

According to the latest research by Global Market Insights Inc., the green data center market is expected to surpass a valuation of more than $175 billion by 2030. The development of super data centers and the trend of renting data storage locations (collocation) are some of the prominent factors promoting the development of the green data center industry.

Tech giants including Amazon and Google have been expanding their large and hyper-scale data center networks in Asia-Pacific. The deployment of big data, cloud computing, IoT technology and awareness of eco-friendly solutions has also increased in the region. These factors, coupled with high consumption of online audio and video content, drive the demand for green data center solutions and strengthen the market outlook.

The service segment is predicted to account for a significant green data center market share by 2030. This is due to the rapid advent of new cloud solutions to support customers’ digital transformation journeys. Some IT companies in emerging economies, such as Infosys, have also turned to green data centers as a service for carbon neutrality. Support for data center solution providers will encourage the deployment of environmentally friendly infrastructure.

Green data center market revenue from the banking and financial services (BFSI) sector is estimated to reach nearly US$30 billion by 2030, driven by the rapid transition from traditional data processing techniques to modern digital technologies. The application of advanced technologies in this field is geared towards faster computing, lower redundancy and higher efficiency. The strong development of online banking platforms will create further prospects for business expansion.

The green data center market in Latin America is predicted to be worth around $5 billion by 2030. This can be attributed to the increasing digitization of verticals and the increase in demand for green data centers for effective data management. The report further reveals that the requirement for robust data centers has increased, mainly due to increasing data traffic. Digitalization trends like this will create a strong growth environment for green data center service providers in the region.

The green data center industry is expected to witness a wide range of business expansion strategies and services adopted by companies in the industry. To cite an example, in March 2022, Microsoft announced plans to build its 4th data center in India, which is expected to be operational by 2025. The new data center aims to meet the demand for cloud services from both the private and government sectors and help the company strengthen its presence in the market.

Thailand expects to lead green data center in the region

As the demand for green data centers has increased, Thailand has made efforts to realize it. Digital transformation, implemented across all aspects of society, has been identified as one of the key components to boost the country’s overall economic competitiveness, and many have come to understand that there is only one way to achieve Thailand 4.0 goals:  in a sustainable way. Several industries are “going green,” including green finance, green transportation powered by EVs (electric vehicles), and green hotel standards.

There is no doubt that Thailand’s green data center initiative is a priority. Thailand has led the way in the region with the most advanced data centers.

For example, SUPERNAP (Thailand), a joint venture between Thailand’s leading companies and the world’s leader in Switch Center design and ecosystem, specializing in the country’s only tier 4 server leasing and data center business, has deployed a solar panel farm. The move contributes to the development of the region’s green digital infrastructure, while supporting Thailand’s long-term sustainable economic development.

As Thailand’s digital population grows, so does the demand for faster and better digital services. Data centers in Thailand already process huge amounts of data and will need larger space and more energy to keep the ecosystem running, which in most cases comes from fossil fuels. For businesses, the more data is collected and stored, the more knowledge, opportunities, and competitive advantages they gain.

However, if no action is taken, this could not only lead to the problem of rising greenhouse gas emissions, but also dangerous price fluctuations, as electricity prices have recently risen due to the effects of geopolitical challenges and growing demand. Thai businesses are looking for data centers that are secure, scalable, resilient and now sustainable to realize the full potential of data while reducing costs.

Yap Jin Yi, CEO of SUPERNAP, said SUPERNAP’s transition to renewable energy has been an urgent priority and the company is now proud to have cemented its position as Thailand’s most sustainable commercial data center.

Towards green data center in Vietnam

As an important infrastructure for the development of the digital economy, Mr. Tran Tuan Anh, Department of Telecommunications – Ministry of Information and Communications said that data centers have grown rapidly in scale. However, data center is also a large energy consumer, a large amount of data and compute throughput makes data center face unprecedented challenges in terms of energy consumption and heat dissipation.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing carbon footprints in industrial production chains is an inevitable global trend in the coming decades. That is also the commitment of the international community at the 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. As committed, Vietnam strives to achieve net-zero emissions by the middle of the 21st century. Accordingly, the construction of data centers must also implement measures to reduce carbon emissions.

Energy efficiency index for data centers

International standards for green data centers such as ISO/IEC 30134 energy efficiency index (PUE) are available. The European Union has issued a code of conduct on the energy efficiency of data centers. The ITU-T SG5 Working Group has issued the ITU-T L.1300 standard on green data centers.

The Netherlands has set a goal of striving for a PUE < 1.2 by 2030. China in the 14th 5-year plan strives for 2025 PUE<1,3. Singapore recently issued a condition that the new data center must meet PUE < 1.3.

Accordingly, Mr. Tran Tuan Anh said that Vietnam encourages the application and use of new technologies in investment and construction of data centers towards green data centers to reduce electricity consumption and reduce CO2 emissions into the environment. Standards and regulations on electricity consumption for data centers will be studied and promulgated./.


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