Oracle Cloud accelerates sustainability commitments by partnering with environmentally conscious data center providers

April 22, 2022 | 4 minute read
Jonathan Hay
Director, Product & Industries
Alex Cruft
Principal Program Manager
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Powering Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) with 100% renewable energy by 2025 is an aggressive goal, one we firmly stand behind it. Taking care of our planet can no longer be an afterthought or something companies talk about purely for publicity. When Oracle says that we’re committed to offering a "clean cloud,” actions stand behind those words.

The reality is that cloud data centers require large amounts of water and electricity to keep the equipment running at peak performance. Historically, much of this power came from fossil fuels and that concerns about improving efficiency were driven by cost, not necessarily impact on climate.

Oracle partners selectively with data center providers, such as Aligned Data Centers, that share the commitment to innovation and sustainability. When customers use OCI, they can reduce their carbon footprint while getting the performance, scalability, security, and economic benefits of the cloud.

Cooling

Oracle seeks to reduce its environmental impact by uniting with data center providers that implement efficient cooling processes. Keeping a data center cool is a never-ending exercise of taming a warehouse-sized sauna.

Data center equipment generates heat, requiring facilities to carefully monitor and maintain temperature and humidity within the data halls. The general approach for cooling data halls involves the use of chillers. These devices reduce air temperature by cooling water, which is then used as a heat transfer mechanism. This traditional method of data center cooling requires significant amounts of water to regulate temperatures—a frequent obstacle to sustainability.

Aligned takes an innovative approach with its mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) design which decouples space from power by supplementing the data hall with more cooling arrays without impacting live load. This approach optimizes heat removal in its data center design without relying on the standard air conditioning approach taken by traditional data centers. This cooling technology results in a data center environment that’s ultra-efficient and hyper-scalable, while also dynamically adapting to OCI capacity demands and variable rack densities up to 50 kW per rack within the same row. Their waterless design standard provides a sustainable and low power-usage effectiveness (PUE) alternative to traditional DX cooling systems, while still preserving OCI’s server performance and reliability.

Operations

Cooling is only one piece of the equation, though. Sustainability measures are also applied to the day-to-day operations of our data centers.

Oracle has a history of commitment to the circular economy through its program to ensure that IT equipment gets securely reused or recycled. Oracle's reverse supply chain has consistently achieved reuse or recycling more than 99.5%. In 2021, the recycled and reused technological waste is equivalent to the weight of a Boeing 737.

Our data center partners also do their part to reduce the carbon footprint of their operations. Aligned has implemented the following strategies:

  • Matching 100% of load across its data center portfolio with certified renewable energy

  • Motion-activated LED lighting at 5,000K to simulate natural daylight conditions

  • Renewable, recyclable, and low-to-zero VOC materials used across various interior elements: 67% pre- and post-recycled acoustical ceiling tile, 100% closed-loop recyclable, NSF 140 platinum-certified carpet tile, and more​

  • Lithium versus VRLA batteries​

  • Construction waste management and diversion

  • Landfill and recycling segmentation​

  • White roofing for radiant heat reflection​

  • Eco-friendly, zero-waste products from dishwasher tablets to hand wash

“Sustainability at Aligned began with a commitment to solving the world’s toughest sustainability challenges associated with data center infrastructure, energy efficiency and water usage. Today, it permeates virtually every aspect of how we design, construct, and operate our adaptive data centers,” says Andrew Schaap, chief executive officer of Aligned Data Centers. “Enabling a clean energy future requires continuous, disruptive innovation across our platform as well as strategic alignment with the aggressive sustainability goals of customers like Oracle, at scale.”

Operational and embodied carbon transparency

Aligned offers 24/7 tracking of how, where, and when energy—operational carbon—is consumed, and is pioneering the tracking and reporting of embodied carbon related to how their data centers are built. By tracking the source of their large electrical and mechanical equipment’s core components and manufacturing procedures along with the construction materials and methodologies of their data center buildings, Aligned is working to provide the industry benchmark for true (operational and embodied) carbon reporting. This level of transparency between data center providers allows Oracle to better inform our own customers and ensure tight alignment with sustainability strategies and goals laid out in our Oracle Clean Cloud Data Sheet.

Oracle and Aligned Data Centers are proud to partner and demonstrate their joint commitment to solving data center sustainability challenges of today to create a greener tomorrow. As the demand for data center infrastructure grows, working with highly scalable and adaptive data center suppliers worldwide remains a top priority for Oracle.

Shared values, shared goals

Solving climate challenges is everyone’s responsibility, and Oracle is committed to the cause. We’re determined to do our part in shifting the technology industry toward more sustainable solutions.

Jonathan Hay

Director, Product & Industries

Alex Cruft

Principal Program Manager


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