Finnish IT services firm Academica has demonstrated the potential of green IT solutions with its new data center, announcing Monday that the data center will use excess heat generated from the servers to heat Helsinki's homes, Reuters reported.

The data center, which will be located underground beneath the Uspenski Cathedral in Finland's capital, will channel the excess heat from computer servers into the city's network of water-heated pipes.

Solutions such as this one have been a popular topic of discussion as cloud computing and virtualization technology continues to grow in adoption, creating more demand for data centers and the energy used to power them.

"It is a pressing issue for IT vendors since the rise in energy costs to power and cool servers is estimated to be outpacing the demand for servers," Steven Nathasingh, chief executive of research firm Vaxa Inc., told Reuters. "But IT companies cannot solve the challenge by themselves and must create new partnerships with experts in energy management like the utility companies and others," he said.

An often-overlooked benefit of green solutions is that they help with reducing IT costs as well as energy costs for the organizations - and, in this case, cities - that implement them, studies have shown.

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