Green data center
We've been investigating exactly how the new ENERGY STAR for Data Centers works and sharing what we've learned. A look the first ENERGY STAR data centers reveals an interesting pattern: a foucs on reducing energy by tackling cooling, not ICT equipment and use.
Recent posts about "green" cloud computing generated lots of response. The issue: what is "green" and "clean" energy?
The key element of EPA ENERGY STAR® for data center buildings is the mapping by the Portfolio Manager of industry-standard metric PUE to ENERGY STAR's 1-100 building rating. Exactly how does this work?
Vertatique and RIA partnered to run a series of tests with Portfolio Manager. We used total and IT energy loads such that each hypothetical data center building had the same PUE and energy intensity. Even so, the ratings varied among the buildings.
We're pleased to be working with the RIA folks to enhance their Energy Stewards™ online platform for building portfolios that contain data centers and other ICT facilities. Here's the press release and links to more information.
I've reported on data centers that have been built to LEED standards. The more I learn about LEED in practice, the more I am convinced that organizations need to carefully weigh the costs/benefits of LEED for New Construction (LEED-NC) as a Green ICT tactic. Key to the issue is that LEED 3.0 NC (LEED 2009) neither requires Energy Measurement and Verification (M&V) nor requires sustained achievement of energy benchmarks after a building is commissioned.
The 7 June release by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of its building Portfolio Manager will include new features for data centers, both as standalone buildings and as 'spaces' within larger buildings. One of the features is a new ENERGY STAR® rating systems for data center buildings, but not for data center spaces. (A data center space will contribute to the overall ENERGY STAR rating of its building.) Here is how the EPA explains its rating methodology:
I wrote last year about Verne Global's selection of Iceland as a location for a green data center based on the country's location-specific attributes. Recent news about the large ash emissions from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano prompted me to check back with the company. Lisa Rhodes, VP of Marketing and Sales at Verne Global, offered insight on both siting and operational issues.
The EPA's ENERGY STAR® program has been working on extending ENERGY STAR to data centers since 2007. A new rating system for data centers is planned for release on 7 June. What do we know and what is still unclear?
Power Utilization Effectiveness (PUE) has emerged as the universal metric for minimizing non-ICT energy consumption in an ICT facility. It does not address the efficiency of the ICT infrastructure itself. Some practitioners have expressed a concern that an over-focus on PUE could result in a perverse incentive to increase absolute energy consumption.