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Home > By DEPARTMENTS > Green Operations > Standard Operating Procedures for Green and Sustainable Business Operations > Energy Efficient Operations

Computer Data Center Locator & Energy Efficiency

Nearly half of data centers worldwide will lack the power and cooling capacity required to support high-density server and storage gear

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Base Partners Inc., a data center consultancy, and Glumac, an engineering services firm. Two companies, based in San Francisco, teamed up to study the 'green' credentials of 21 cities that already have pockets of data centers. The companies said they conducted the study because “The data center is one of the biggest environmental offenders, because it’s one of the largest users of electricity.” (Of course they are referring to traditional, non-green data centers.)

Why a locator for data centers? "Research firm Gartner Inc. predicts that by the end of next year, nearly half of data centers worldwide will lack the power and cooling capacity required to support high-density server and storage gear, including items such as blade servers," reports Computerworld.

So they devised a fictional 135,000-square-foot data center with a raised-floor area of 110,000 square feet.

Given their criteria, Chicago and Quincy, Washington (where Google and Microsoft are building big hydro-electric powered data centers) came out way ahead of all the other sites studied in terms of annual carbon production, mostly because they’re in cold weather for most of the year and the study so heavily focused on cooling as the major contributor to power inefficiency.

The top 5 cities in the study were:

1) Chicago, IL

2) Quincy, WA

3) San Jose, CA

4) Santa Clara, CA (outside of San Jose)

5) El Segundo, CA (Los Angeles)

"We’re not building a new data center in Chicago any time soon based on these results, but it’s nice to know people are having these conversations," says Greenesthost on their blog.

Green Data Center Solutions

According to Computer World, IT managers who are looking to establish new data centers or significantly expand their current buildings can improve their energy efficiency and sustainable operations several ways:
  • Negotiate with your electricity provider. Data centers are considered good customers because they use so much power on such a regular basis. So utilities might be willing to apply off-peak rates during peak business hours, or to offer some type of similar deal.
  • Look into newer technologies -- including chips and software -- that can power down servers and PCs during times when they aren't being fully used.
  • Base your cost estimates on equipment life-cycle costs, not just start-up expenses.
  • Use so-called smart energy strategies. For example, install occupancy and lighting sensors that turn electricity and other utilities on and off, depending on whether an area is actually being used.

SOURCE: Greenesthost.com blog



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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