What is a Green Data Center?

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Wednesday, August 1st 2012 — Categories: Green Data Center

The top question that we regularly hear is “What is a green data center?” With data centers now being one of the highest consumers of energy, they are likely to be one of the greatest costs for an enterprise. Our goal is not only to be greener than most data centers, but to also cost less.

Our definition of a green data center includes many aspects. Here is a simple list of how we are green.

Power: We are powered 100% through renewable wind energy.

Cooling: In the average data center, a server requires the same amount of energy wattage to cool it as it does to run it. This essentially doubles to cost of powering servers. However, our cooling system runs about 90% more energy efficiently than standard data center CRAC (computer room air conditioning) units. Our air-side economizer allows us to operate on approximately 1 watt for the server power and 0.2 watts for cooling. Furthermore, we have developed a hot-aisle/cold-aisle standardization across the data center to prevent hot and cold air from mixing, again improving our efficiency.

Cloud Computing / Virtualization: By offering cloud hosting through virtualization technology, we are able to consolidate physical servers to virtual servers at a 10:1 ratio. By consolidating even one server through our cloud servers, we take 4 tons of CO2 emissions out of the air and save up to 7000 kWh in energy costs (about $700) each year. This also allows us to have a smaller than average facility (10,000 sq ft), since less space is required to house, power and cool the cloud infrastructure.

Additional savings come from our cloud hosting because we keep close watch on server utilization. If the processing need is lower than usual, we have the ability to power down unneeded physical servers. Servers running idle can take almost as much power to run and cool as does an active server. In times of greater CPU need, we can simply power servers back on to meet the demands of our cloud environment. Balancing the load across a cloud server cluster can have a great impact on energy savings.

Office: Within our office environment, we have continued to build upon our sustainability initiatives. Here are some highlights.

Landscaping: Our facility is located in an arid location; therefore, we have opted for a landscape design that is very xeric in nature. The water used to irrigate these plants, is supplied by run-off from our evaporative cooling system.

We are always looking into new energy saving technologies that will continue to deliver high performance results to our customers. Although wind power comes at a premium energy cost, the energy savings we gain through our energy efficient methods nets a cost saving to our company that we pass through customers. On average, our clients see around a 10% cost savings on comparable services. We invite you to schedule a visit to our data center so you can see first-hand the green efforts in place.