If you’ve never walked into a data center, I can assure you that they are typically loud, energy-hogging places. In addition to all of the computer equipment sucking electricity out of the local grid, the cooling systems in place to keep this computer equipment working at an optimal temperature are equally taxing on the energy system.

When comparing an equally sized data center to an office space, the data center can easily use 30 times the power that the office building does. That's 30 times more power, not 30 percent more power. Creating a more energy-efficient data center is one way that a company, organization, university or government agency can make a dent in their greenhouse gas emissions.

Photo: Robert Scoble/Flickr

Watch: Syracuse University's green data center
IBM, Syracuse University, and the State of New York joined forces to build a state of the art energy efficient data center.