Green data center
|The reduction of energy, waste, and carbon in the design and operation of data centers and other ICT facilities.|
Updates from Asia-Pacific. Click here for regional Green ICT updates from around the globe. Click on 'Asia-Pac' tag above for all news about the region. (Information about the ICT implications of Japan's earthquake and tsunami have been moved to its own post.)
Sustainability in telecommunications equipment, infrastructures and operations is a crucial component of Green ICT. ITU Telecom World 2013 is happening in Bangkok, Thailand, during 19-22 November. The conference program seems to be heavily promoting the expansion of global telecom, but I could find nothing focusing on minimizing that expansion's resources/toxins footprint. Post a comment or send a tweet if you know of a session of interest.
Liquid cooling was once a staple of large-scale computing, but has largely been replaced by air cooling. We identified several efforts to bring liquid cooling to the server world in our first version of this post a year and a half ago. Here is an update that includes some new American technology.
Updates from Europe. Click on "Europe" tag above for all news about the region. Click here for regional Green ICT updates from around the globe.
DCO datacenter (Belgium) integrates indirect free air cooling, as-needed LED lighting, and other features to achieve a PUE of 1.11. Two interesting innovations are its "Box in box principle [that] provides the hull of the datacenter. It is used for cooling and the inside boxes are datarooms. This way we need only a minimum of power to move the heated air to the outside" and "The cellar houses a 4 million litre water buffer. This buffer is used to cool during short needs for extra cooling and reduces the usage of chillers with 80%." The facility won several Green ICT awards in 2011 when it opened.
The industry has been striving to green data centers for some time. Here are some of pioneers from 2002 through 2009.
Seventeen manufacturers offer ENERGY STAR® qualified servers. CompuLab, SuperMicro and Toshiba are the latest. Bull and Wipro appear to no longer offer qualified models.
Much Green ICT focuses on computers: servers in the data center and desktops in the office. Don't forget that disk-based data storage, which can cost an organization $25/GB/month, also offers opportunities. Here's a look at the progress manufacturers and users have been making in recent years to manage data storage's energy consumption. The storage capacity of the United States National Security Agency's (NSA) new data center in Utah is a powerful reminder of the role storage plays in ICT facilities.
Government entities have an important role to play in encouraging sustainable ICT across all industries. Effective leadership requires internal implementation, as well. The tag at the top of this post - government - helps you easily locate posts containing opportunities for and applications of Green ICT in government operations. (Green ICT in public education is found through the education tag.)
Most ICT gear - core facilities, communications infrastructures, and edge devices - runs on DC power. Converting AC to DC within a building is inefficient, on-site renewable power generation is usually DC to begin with, and super-efficient LED lighting is also DC. So DC power distribution has been a attractive option, but there have been vigorous arguments for and against. Recent events suggest the tide is turning in favor of DC distribution, although skeptics continue to press their case. The growing use of solar-generated electricity might be providing the latest boost DC.
Image courtesy IEEE Spectrum
The NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center (NWSC) in Wyoming "provides advanced computing services to scientists studying a broad range of disciplines, including weather, climate, oceanography, air pollution, space weather, computational science, energy production, and carbon sequestration. It also houses a landmark data storage and archival facility that will hold, among other scientific data, unique historical climate records." It has also become of the focus our largest Twitter discussion of the 2013.