Green data center
Green ICT is concerned with all resources consumed in creating e-gear and operating ICT infrastructures. Significant amounts of water are used in everything from chip fabrication to PC manufacture to data center operation. This makes ICT vulnerable to droughts and other constraints. It has also dragged ICT water use into the political arena. We've just added a video from Google about how the company is using was water to cool one of its data centers.
The Bloom Energy Server is a "distributed power generator" that uses fuel cells to convert air and natural gas into electricity. We wrote in 2010 that the 'Bloom Boxes' are "already being used by ICT companies, but not for for mission-critical ICT applications." By mid-2012 we could report that they are used for applications ranging from television to telecom. We've updated this post with a video about e-Bay's Utah datacenter.
We've regularly looked at datacenter and equipment consolidation. Consolidation can reduce resource consumption and environmental toxins by reducing energy use and equipment purchasing, yet consolidation efforts without careful implementation and appropriate safeguards can lead to catastrophic failure points. Two articles in the same week about a major American university illustrate the point.
Mobile devices and web services are growing cloud computing at a dizzying pace. How clean are these clouds? We've been tracking this issue since 2010. Here are our latest updates.
Equipment and cooling are the two big targets for reducing energy consumption in ICT facilities. Operators who really want to drive PUE have to look at all areas of consumption and facility lighting is no exception. Lighting consumes energy directly and produces ambient heat that also increases the cooling load. Here's a look at what facility designers and operators are doing.
New ICT facilities implementing the latest in Green ICT technologies and practices garner much publicity, yet a lot is being done with existing ones. The latest post looks at what a major financial services company accomplished through interdepartmental cooperation.
The convergence of multiple lines of Green ICT inquiry is a sign of Green ICT progress. We have covered the growing use of fuel cells to power ICT facilities and the advancement of DC distribution inside the data center. A recent demonstration brings these two concepts together to improve energy efficiency and reliability.
Bitcoin is an extra-sovereign currency which maintains is scarcity by requiring increasingly complex computer calculations for their creation. This process - bitcoin mining - highlights a number of Green ICT issues. Increased public awareness of Bitcoin could help awareness of Green ICT.
Several companies have been working to create cloud computing volume servers using "wimpy chips". These are low-power, lower-speed chips designed for mobile devices. The idea is that large numbers of these in a server can yield lower energy consumption while maintaining cost-effective performance. The EU has launched an initiative using the wimpy-chip approach, but an American pioneer has shuttered its doors.
The industry has been striving to green data centers for some time. Here are some of pioneers from 2002 through 2009.