Edge Computing Fireside Chats: Equinix driving innovation for sustainability

Edge Industry Review’s “Fireside Chats” series of video interviews continues its focus on data center providers with an examination of the role these facilities will play in enabling a sustainable digital economy — an important question as more and more data centers are built to enable edge computing.

Digital infrastructure company Equinix recently announced a key component of its sustainability strategy: the opening of its first Co-Innovation Facility (CIF) at its campus in Ashburn, Virginia.

Why is sustainability important to edge computing?

Recently, the Netherlands halted a Facebook data center for sustainability reasons and the city of Amsterdam paused data center builds for a year in 2019. Data centers, which power edge computing and public and private cloud networks worldwide, account for an enormous amount of energy use. Equinix cites figures of 8% of electricity globally; put into the perspective of a country, data centers are on pace to consume 1% of electricity in Canada. Although regional and access edge data centers don’t consume as much power as a Facebook data center, there are going to be more of them.

Equinix announced a bold net-zero emissions goal by 2030 and the CIF will be an important part of that effort. The company is working with partners to trial and develop innovations in areas such as liquid cooling, high-density cooling, intelligent power management, and onsite prime power generation.

To do this, Equinix is partnering with leading data center technology innovators including Bloom Energy, ZutaCore, Virtual Power Systems (VPS) and Natron Energy.

To learn more about this subject, Edge Industry Review spoke with David Hall, Fellow Technology and Architecture at Equinix. Among the topics covered:

  • Equinix’s sustainability efforts and how the CIF program came about.
  • Equinix’s approach to the the edge data center market and how CIF program innovations might impact that market.
  • Hall’s thoughts on when innovations should start to appear in data centers.

Watch the video here.

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