Dark data: "The hidden secret of the ICT sector"

Poor management practices are a huge drain on the world’s resources – but there is a simple solution.

The success of data management and analytics has made it more powerful for businesses than ever to collect and store information about every aspect of their business. But while this information can reveal great value, it also has hidden costs.

Maintaining unorganized and unused data to produce millions of green gas each year, and to consume more water and transport more land; but businesses and data centers can make a big and fast difference with one simple task: maintaining data storage.

“Black data accounts for 54% of the data stored around the world,” said Aoife Foley – IEEE senior fellow and a reader at the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Queen’s University Belfast. “We’re talking about emails, customer phone calls, video games – a whole bunch of unused stuff.”

More than half of the world’s data is unused? It’s a terrible picture – even when you consider how the library has grown. Since 2016, the amount of data stored worldwide has increased from 2 exabits (Eb) to 6Eb by 2022, and is on track to reach 11Eb by 2025.

For information, an exabit is one quintillion bits – that’s 18 zeroes – or 1 billion gigabits.

“That data is coming at a price. Data centers keep a lot of the data around the world sitting there for nothing. The reason is it’s just rubbish: 54% of that is, the information that made his work, it may be a copy, reside elsewhere, or it may have been required from time to time, but it is not, they want to have it, no their proper digging systems. “

Foley and his colleagues found that only about 14% of the data held was critical – that is, bank records, online economics, and health care data. But to get there, companies are forced to go into the sludge of black data that covers their databases.

Everything is in a box

Foley comes from a technical background – a mandated industry where everyone must meet certain ISO standards, from signing charts to maintaining them. The lack of standardization is one of the biggest problems facing the IT sector today, he believes.

“When you look at the way the data is collected, it’s not organized. As an engineer, to me, that’s the antithesis of what we need to do. If you go to the law firm, a bank, everything, everyone counts, everything is secured.

This is how we store data today: store everything if we need it in the future. The digital equivalent of the average home garden.

The answer is simple, but not simple: he believes it should be regulated by the International Standards Organization (ISO), just like it is with engineering.

“The same thing needs to be done in different areas: the legal sector, medicine, the commercial sector.

The impact of the environment

In their research, Foley and his colleagues looked at countries with the most data center systems in the world: the UK, Germany, France, Russia, Ireland, South Africa, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands , USA, China and Brazil. What they found was a big difference: not just in power, water and land use, but in the amount of that resource given to black data.

Data centers in countries with low renewable energy levels have higher carbon footprint than those that receive energy from wind, solar, nuclear and similar sources. Source: IEEE

“That head [in dark data] too much. Emissions and the associated energy footprint, unlike the country, is the secret of the ICT industry, isn’t it? Nobody wants to talk about it, because they don’t know what to do with it. “

The environmental cost of doing business online – and maintaining black data – varies greatly around the world. For every gigabyte of data used, the CO2 equivalent (CO2e) footprint ranges from 28-63g; water from 0.1-35 liters; and land from 0.7-20cm².

Most of the difference is down to the domestic environment: Brazil, for example, is very hot, so it is much more efficient to use water for data heating than the world average; but the country does well on its carbon footprint, with a good mix of newcomers using the fence.

France is one of the few countries in the study to count below the global median in carbon, water and land footage dedicated to black data. In fact, land has one of the highest percentages of clean business and is known for critical and redundant data storage.

Why is that? Simply put, “they’re better at leaving than we are [in the UK and Ireland]”That means less storage – including energy, land and water – dedicated to storing black data.

The problem is, few people think of something as simple as a better complaint as part of the effect of climate change. Few people consider the impact of their digital recording on their energy and carbon footprint. But the digital landscape continues to grow as more and more people add more data.

“There’s nothing like a free lunch. Things like Dropbox or Google Docs or Apple, where they give you a lot of free storage – is that a reasonable and sustainable business idea? continuing service? “

It’s an unrealistic truth

While editing can solve some of these problems, it is probably an impossible answer. There is no political will to do anything about black data, Foley said, because of the strength of the technology industry.

Governments that tell companies like PayPal or Amazon to clean up their large inventory – perhaps by ordering customers to do what they can and can’t afford – can see them down to the loss of these important tools. While Ireland has many advantages for the data center industry, they can’t be overstated.

“This sector is like a goose that lays a golden egg, it’s a gift that always gives. Is the world’s energy demand from data alone? It’s worrying.

“And that’s the problem for Ireland. EirGrid, the land user, said that by 2030, up to 32% of the strongest demand on the island of Ireland will come from data … So Ireland, which is the problem of the Government. Woe if they work, woe if they don’t.

What can we do?

If governments have the will, but little desire, to drive change, responsibility falls on corporations and individuals. It’s up to everyone – especially IT leaders, including the power of business data – to take control of it.

The benefits are not clean to the environment. Better maintenance and storage, less time, energy and money spent on retrieving data, and better data retrieval. .

Dark data is the digital landscape – with the same effect on the world

In the short term, take a closer look at your servers and decide which data you keep you don’t need: black data. In the meantime, write down policies and procedures to eliminate unorganized data, and constantly monitor for implementation.

Not only are these steps “environmentally safe,” they also give you a better understanding of your processes – and bring your organization closer to its green goals.

“Business organizations around the world … are investing a portion of their wealth in reaching and achieving sustainability goals in their own organization. It’s a bit of a problem, because [Irish] The government does not want to irritate the public, the voters, and does not want jobs to be lost from the ICT industry. “

Unsurprisingly, “data centers won’t change their style,” even as energy prices rise – to be made available to consumers. Foley believes holding the press “is a legitimate right.”

“Filtering from black data and misinformation is a legitimate responsibility for people and organizations around the world. It can change the data center industry, of course.

“It was like the 70s, when we had islands, and water pollution and garbage … It was like the digital world: dirt, filth.”

The collection of data and data has reached a level never before seen in the world; but, as new developments, it has also brought new problems in the form of digital pollution – and actual pollution. The faster we work to reduce it, the faster we can get real value from the information we hold.

Dark data: "The hidden secret of the ICT sector"

Source link Dark data: "The hidden secret of the ICT sector"

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