Microsoft has opened its newest Azure data center in Indonesia. Data centers’ environmental impact and energy efficiency have become prominent concerns within the tech industry. So, is it a green data center or still using coal-generated electricity?
Microsoft Azure Data Center In Indonesia
Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing arm, opened a data center in Indonesia in June 2021.This data center will serve as a hub supporting customers and partners across APAC. It is including Australia, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, and India.
While it does not use any renewable energy to power the servers, Microsoft did take some steps to make its new data center more environmentally friendly. The data center uses water to cool down the servers. While this could be a problem in Indonesia (where droughts are common), Microsoft says they have taken measures to ensure that they will not deplete the area’s water supply.
Microsoft Azure Data Center in Indonesia is a premier facility for Microsoft’s cloud computing solutions that delivers high-performing and reliable services. The new data center features a range of innovative technologies, including high-availability power and cooling systems that provide a 99.99 percent uptime guarantee with redundancies built into the design to protect against natural disasters.
Microsoft also uses three-phase electricity, which can be easily recycled and rerouted if there is a power outage. This is different from traditional electricity, which usually goes directly into homes without being processed beforehand.
Finally, Microsoft is aiming for a 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030. It has already cut back on carbon emissions by 75%, which was possible because it shifted from using diesel fuel to using clean energy instead.
Where is the Azure data center located in Indonesia?
It will occupy around 15 acres of land on Cikarang, an industrial zone near Indonesia’s capital city of Jakarta, and is expected to consume at least 130 megawatts of electricity—about as much as 60,000 average US homes. The facility will be powered mainly by locally generated geothermal energy. This is a step up from coal-powered plants, which are common throughout most Southeast Asia Data Centers.
Microsoft office itself is located in Jakarta. Jakarta Stock Exchange Building Tower II, Sudirman Central Business District, South Jakarta.
Microsoft’s Asia-Pacific president, Steven Worrall, said the data center was built in Jakarta with a cost-efficient and environmentally friendly design. He also added the company’s commitment to the Indonesian market through several collaborations with local companies for this project.
Only now, the location of the Azure data center in Indonesia has been clarified. We checked the official Microsoft Azure website to find information on the site of their data center in Indonesia; unfortunately, that information was also missing. They needed to update the corporate website to ensure transparent information.
What does it mean? Transparency regarding location alone needs to be clarified. What about the use of labor? Is the workforce in Microsoft Azure Data Center paid cheap wages, such as slavery? Do they still use coal and diesel power plants?
Data centers with a lack of transparency can be trusted or not?
Microsoft’s new data center in Indonesia is a significant milestone for the technology giant and its cloud computing services, but some are concerned about the company’s lack of transparency about the facility’s environmental impact.
The Indonesian government has wanted its people to adopt renewable energy sources as soon as possible to meet growing energy demand without relying on dirty fuels like coal. The government currently gets most of its electricity from plants that burn coal, but with plans to expand its capacity, there is already concern among environmental groups about the damage that might be done.
Microsoft has been vocal about other aspects of the facility but has remained largely silent about whether or not it’s taking any steps to reduce its environmental impact. Some argue that it should be required by law since data centers are responsible for up to 2% of all man-made CO2 emissions—a problem that is only getting worse as more people rely on cloud computing daily.
Some have suggested that this move indicates a shift in Microsoft’s environmental strategy away from “green” towards profit, but we’re not sure that’s the case.
Why is data center transparency important?
Objectivity and lack of bias in transparency are necessary because impartiality is essential in a court of law, or objectivity and lack of bias are necessary for a scientist’s laboratory. Data center administrators have control over the environment and can create an environment that favors one environment over another by making changes to their infrastructure.
It is, therefore, critical that data center administrators remain impartial to all potential backgrounds and not favor one environment over the other. By keeping their infrastructure open for inspection, administrators allow customers to verify that their infrastructure has been designed with no bias toward a particular environment, thus eliminating any doubt about whether or not an administrator is truly unbiased.
Transparency can be defined as “the quality or state of being easily seen through.” This can be especially important in data centers where information is stored and processed since every piece of hardware can be considered sensitive. However, even if it isn’t an actual security risk, there is still reason to be concerned about what happens behind closed doors in a data center.
Azure has a data center in Indonesia, which has been criticized for its lack of environmental consciousness. However, it is essential to note that the data center’s design and construction were done with a great deal of greenness in mind, and the criticisms are based on assumptions that are not entirely true.
In response to public pressure, Microsoft has made its plans for a data center in Indonesia more transparent, but more is needed.
Green data centers aim to reduce their carbon footprints through renewable energy sources, a focus on environmentally friendly construction, and other measures. However, the environment is more about processing power than its physical footprint when it comes to the cloud. Indonesia’s Microsoft Azure data center will be powered by 100% renewable energy sources.
It’s not only Microsoft Azure Data Center that has less transparency; Google Data Center in Indonesia is also similar. A world-class data center must display transparent information on its website.
In the future, all data centers in Indonesia will have clear transparency regarding the location of their data center, the certification they have, and so on.