If Open Compute and Facebook have anything to do with it, the greenest data center might be sporting <a href="http://searchdatacenter.techtarget.com/answer/Recycling-servers-Exploring-the-biodegradable-server">biodegradable servers</a> soon. The materials required could revolutionize the IT industry, especially considering that servers are often replaced on a broad scale every 2 to 3 years. Technologies like virtualization, along with improvements in computing power and efficiency, are allowing servers to remain in production and secondary roles longer than ever before. But all servers will eventually need to be decommissioned and disposed of properly.
This produces a serious amount of electronic waste and scrap material every year -- only some of which may be recycled. But just imagine having a server chassis you can throw in the compost heap along with leaves and other environmentally friendly materials. The idea is still in its infancy, but Facebook and the Open Compute Project are looking for new server designs that will integrate with its Open Rack design.