Building Green Data Centers

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Building Green Data Centers

Green is the topic of discussion currently, and it has a major impact on the current Business operations, and how organizations have revisited their strategies on the Data Centers. What does green data center mean? A Green Data Center is an enterprise class computing facility that is entirely built, managed and operated on green computing principles (Green use, Green design, Green disposal and Green manufacturing). A green data center is a repository for the storage, management, and dissemination of data in which the mechanical, lighting, electrical and computer systems are designed for maximum energy efficiency and minimum environmental impact. The construction and operation of a green data center includes advanced technologies and strategies.We need to give a thought on why organizations are switching to Green Data Centers (GDC, here onwards). Here are some of the top strategies done by companies going Green.

  • Minimizing the footprints of the buildings
  • The use of low-emission building materials, carpets and paints
  • Sustainable landscaping
  • Waste recycling
  • Installation of catalytic converters on backup generators
  • The use of alternative energy technologies such as photovoltaics, heat pumps, and evaporative cooling
  • The use of hybrid or electric company vehicles

Everything comes at a cost. Building and Certifying a GDC facility is definitely expensive. However, we also need to keep in mind that on a long-term basis, cost savings are realized on operations and maintenance. Another advantage is the fact that green facilities offer employees a healthy, comfortable work environment. In addition, green facilities enhance relations with local communities.

How to build GDCs:

Data Center energy efficiency can be achieved in several ways, such as using free-air cooling, optimizing computer room air conditioning (CRAC), and creating hot and cold aisles, among other tactics. The GDC would have to follow energy efficiency regulations and thus, reduce carbon footprint by complying with the standards. 

How to build and manage an energy-efficient data center

In order to build and maintain an energy efficient GDC, some of the guidance points are as mentioned below:

  • Free-air cooling: Using natural cooling in data centers
  • Optimize CRAC units for maximum energy efficiency
  • Efficient energy use and energy security in the data center
  • Improve data center energy efficiency by cutting cooling
  • Water cooling vs. air cooling: The rise of water use in data center
  • Energy-saving tips: Reduce energy consumption with hot-aisle and cold-aisle containment

Here are some of the top reasons why companies invest in building Green Data Centers:

  • GDC saves energy – Being heavy consumers of energy, data centers account for close to 2% of the world’s energy usage. The GDCs improvise on the energy utilization and increases performance of the data centers.
  • GDC saves money – GDC reduces both operating cost and capital costs since they eliminate the need of additional power and cooling demands.
  • GDC helps in environmental sustainability – GDC reduces the technological impact on the environment and use of natural resources, thus helps the environment to be sustainable
  • GDC improves the corporate and social image – GDC is a big hand for businesses to improve their corporate and social image by meeting the Compliance and Regulatory Requirements
  • GDC better utilizes the resources – Resources such as office space, light, heat, electrical power, etc. are utilized in an environmental friendly way

Best Practices for a GDC:

  1. Consolidate your servers – Turn off dead servers and make few basic changes to the existing data centers.
  2. Upgrade to energy efficient servers – moving to the servers based on green IT principles can increase energy efficiency and performance
  3. Switch to high efficiency power supplies – upgrading to higher efficiency power supplies eliminates inefficiencies with multiple AC/DC conversions
  4. Redesign cooling system – A better cooling system that incorporates outside air and energy efficient temperature can reduce the energy consumption up to a great context
  5. Redesign air management – a better air management for data center should prevent recirculation of hot air exhausted from IT equipment and reduces bypass air flow
  6. Better environmental conditions – better environmental conditions are crucial to the smooth running of your data center, concerning on temperature, humidity, wetness and air flow

Outsourcing IT and cloud models serve as carbon emission escape routes. Cooling can account for up to 40% of data center energy use, so any efficiency savings that can help reduce an organization’s carbon emissions is welcome. This indicates that Cloud is the possible way forward for IT infrastructure. Energy Star for data centers is first definitive green data center rating. The Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star certification may have flaws. CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, a carbon-trading scheme, which incentivizes large corporations, to make energy efficiency improvements, can be confusing. This feature includes measures that will help IT pros achieve CRC EES compliance and reduce energy costs.

CMS IT provides deep expertise in designing, building and managing Green Data Centres. Reach out to CMS IT for your System Integration needs.

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