Are On-Premise Data Centers Hurting Your Environmental Commitment?


Consumers seek companies that care about their environmental impact. Your corporate footprint can have many components, from the type of products you sell and how you manufacture them to your supply chain.

How you produce and deliver your products are the two main things analysts look at when assessing a company’s carbon footprint. But there’s more to this equation: your internal operations can also have a big impact on your environmental sustainability.

The way you use and store data, for instance, is one of the key ingredients of your carbon footprint, especially if you rely on large amounts of data and therefore need more power to store and transfer it.

The ESG Cost of On-Premise Data Centers

On paper, on-premise data centers look good for data accessibility and security, but you need a large team of experts to properly manage the facility and everything that goes into it. 

It requires a large investment to manage your own data center, in terms of financial and operational costs, especially if it’s not your core competency. The carbon footprint is also quite large, adding an ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governmental) cost. Most on-premise data centers operate with legacy technology that needs a lot of power. Moreover, the cooling systems need constant upgrades and modern sensors to be environmentally-efficient. Again, this rarely happens with on-premise data centers, especially those operated by small- and medium-sized businesses.

The reason is quite simple: the cost. Investing in upgrades, on top of maintenance, operational, and staffing costs adds up to a large investment that very few SMEs can sustain.

How Does Cloud Computing Live Up to Its Environmentally Friendly Promises?

At first sight, cloud computing comes with a much lower carbon footprint. According to a Microsoft report, it can be up to 98% more energy-efficient than traditional data centers. 

However, as we’ve shown before, not all is as it seems when it comes to cloud storage

When you opt for cloud storage, you don’t really know where your data is stored. It can be in a state-of-the-art data center that’s energetically efficient or it could be stored in a glorified closet that needs a tremendous amount of power to cool off the servers.

A report by an environmental agency shows that when small businesses try to manage on-premise data storage, they’re inefficient and have high energy costs. 

If you are sustainability focused, we recommend moving away from storage solutions that you have no or very little control over. The less-than-ideal scalability options, the lack of data accessibility, and the ever-increasing prices are just a few of the reasons why more and more businesses are leaving the cloud behind

If your core competency isn’t managing a data center, then a sustainable on-premise option is a no-go. And the cloud’s environmental impact is murky at best, what’s left?

According to the most recent trends and reports: colocation.

How Colocation Champions Energy Efficiency and Low ESG Costs

Colocation is the option that offers you the best of both worlds: the touted flexibility of the cloud (only real in this case) and the data accessibility and security of on-premise storage. When you opt for colocation, you will see your ESG impacts dramatically reduce because:

  • Your security is taken care of by the data center operator, thus sheltering you from the huge security skills gap.
  • You share the energy costs, floor space, and more with a lot of other companies, which significantly lowers your carbon footprint.
  • Colocation data centers are run more efficiently than cloud storage facilities or on-premise data centers. If you work with a reliable colocation provider, you should expect to see the newest cooling technology, smart sensors, and various other means to improve energy efficiency.

A Forrester report reveals growing concern for sustainability among data center operators. We’re excited to hear that, especially since our colocation facility has been built from the get-go with sustainability in mind.

Aside from clean energy sources, the Heartland Technology Data Center uses modern cooling sensors to ensure a flow that keeps your hardware safe and your carbon footprint as low as possible.

Colocation can lower your carbon footprint and your costs significantly when compared to on-premise storage. Furthermore, it can give you the predictability and data accessibility that you have to forego when you opt for cloud solutions. 

Recently collected data points out that SMEs are moving away from the cloud and their legacy on-premise data centers and to the solution that’s more effective across the board: colocation.

Not sure if colocation is the right option for you? We don’t believe in one-size-fits-all solutions either! Get in touch with our hosting experts for a free, no-obligations consultation! We’ll be happy to guide you to a solution that meets your needs and your budget without compromising your sustainability commitment.