What’s next: Energy efficient data centers
Data centers are the centralized repositories which store all our data from telecommunications to web hosting. These data centers are found to consume about 31GW of power annually and are the major contributors to the already rising carbon foot print. With “Go Green” being the song of environmentalists all over the world today, these data centers have come under scrutiny to find ways to lower their energy consumption. As a result of which energy efficient data centers have evolved in large numbers in the recent years.
Though energy efficient data centers are difficult to manage, they are the need of the hour. There are two areas where energy consumption in data centers needs to be checked
1.The electricity consumed by the servers and computer networks which form the basis of the data center.
2.The air conditioners and other coolants which support the electrical load of the servers and computers.
Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) and Data Center Infrastructure Efficiency (DCIE) are indexes used to check the efficiency of the green data centers. With growing affinity towards online trading, online gaming, online ticketing etc corporate giants like Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Face book have understood the need of greener methodologies and built data centers abiding to the indexes mentioned above. Given below are few of the next generation data centers.
1. Yahoo Energy-Efficient Data Center
Located in Lockport, New York, Yahoo’s new energy efficient data center has been inspired from the chicken coop model. The specialty of this green data center is, it consumes 40% less power than the ordinary ones and its PUE index is 1.08 which strictly follows the green standards. This entire module is run by hydro power generated from the Niagara falls. Apart from this, Yahoo has chosen a right place for its data center which is surrounded by lakes where cool breeze has taken care of the entire cooling task like in a chicken coop.
This green project apart from reducing the carbon footprint has given employment opportunities to people in the region. Owing to the goodness of this initiative, The Department of Energy has funded $9.9 million towards this project.
2. Hitachi Data Center
Hitachi data systems (HDS) on the occasion of Earth day have announced an innovative green data center in Yokohama, Japan. Yokohama being the primary data center of the company, houses its own data center hardware and software to emphasize their prowess in this field of technology. The PUE index of Hitachi data center is 1.6, considerably low for data centers of its class. Also the carbon emission in this Eco-friendly data center has been reduced substantially by 20%.
The Hitachi data center manages power efficiently by installing a number of Eco-friendly tools like water cooled servers and racks, converters of direct current power supply and much more. A rooftop garden has also been maintained to take care of the night cooling. The Hitachi data center has been claimed as one of the robust data centers in the world.
3. Colocation America’s Data Center
Colocation America’s datacenter is designed by the leading and reliable collocation server hosting company. They have hired network engineers who have been endowed with the best knowledge on setting up, configuring and managing the data center equipments for its optimal energy efficiency. Based in Los Angeles, California, this data center is keen in being part of a greener tomorrow by various practices like using emails instead of papers for their client and internal communication, eliminating spaces between the racks for better recirculation, employing lighting controls in data center halls and much more.
4. Syracuse University’s Data Center
This greenest ever datacenter in operation is a joint venture of IBM, New York state along with Syracuse University in their campus which is extended across 6000sq foot with $12.4 million investment. This Eco-friendly initiative is said to consume half as much energy as an ordinary data center. The Syracuse university data center houses an onsite electricity generation system with the help of 12 micro-turbines which are fueled by natural gas. The heat which is in turn given out from the micro turbines is passed through absorption chillers to produce cold water to cool the servers. During winter, the servers are cooled naturally by the cold breeze outside while the heat generated from the turbines is used to make hot water for a nearby building. Owing to its laudable efforts in energy efficiency, the New York state Energy Research and Development Authority has awarded the project with $2 million grant.
In 2007,The Environment Protection Agency predicted an alarming increase in energy consumption by data centers which would double from 2005 and 2010. But thanks to the tremendous awareness on global warming brought about by environmentalists today as a result of which these energy efficient data centers have evolved. Though the predicted levels have not yet been reached, it is high time we as individuals also contribute to the efficient usage of energy for a greener tomorrow.