Europe

Free Air, Hot Racks, and Cool Liquids

Handling our gear's heat has always been an issue for installations large and small. ICT equipment typical took 1x-2x again more energy to remove its heat as it took to power it in the first place (PUE of 2.0+), driving both energy costs and carbon footprints. Early efforts focused on the two obvious tactics: make both the ICT gear and the air conditioning more efficient. We now see these augmented by innovative new approaches to the problem, ranging from seawater cooling to variable-speed fan retrofits.

Will Liquid-Cooled Computers Make a Comeback?

Liquid cooling was once a staple of large-scale computing, but has largely been replaced by air cooling.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 in 2012 and have seen continuous progress since. Here is the latest news.

Finding the Greenest Notebooks

The EPEAT Gold database includes 389 models for the US. This represents a drop of ~30% over a year ago. The biggest drops came from Toshiba (-47%) and Samsung (-76%), the companies that offer the most models a year ago. Toshiba is still a model count leader, along with HP and Apple. The latter two companies increased their models counts in the past year.

Data Centers Reuse Waste Heat

ICT facilities are becoming increasingly innovative in reusing their waste heat, a trend we first identified in 2009. This has been strongest in Europe, where many municipalities have district heating infrastructures into which facilities can transfer excess heat. Our latest example, from Switzerland, is just this sort of arrangement.

Is PUE Still Above 2.0 for Most Data Centers?

A 2010 version of this post was titled "No One Can Agree on Typical PUE". I wrote, "As more data centers measure their PUE, managers ask what is typical? The industry does not seem to agree, so a wide range of numbers is out there." I updated the post in 2012 with the latest data, concluding that most data centers still appear to be operating above a PUE of 2.0."

I put the question to Vertatique's global Green ICT community in August 2013 via a tweet: "After years of #GreenICT, is there evidence that most #datacenters now operate below PUE 2.0?". This was one of our most-retweeted, but no one came forward with new evidence. Some replied in the emphatic negative.

Three years of very enlightening survey results from Digital Realty, including the 2014 data, confirm that the 2012 analysis. The only lower (better) average PUE came from Microsoft.

Vertatique Online - 2014

Swedish Enterprise energy management specialists cited our article Is PUE Still Above 2.0 for Most Data Centers? in September 2014.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Information Society Observatory of the Information for All Programme curated our article Container-Based ICT For Developing Countries in June 2014 as a global resource.

Carbonfund.org's Business Calculator uses server energy data form the Vertatique site.

We were cited in Drake University's May 2014 Think Mag article Feeling Lucky? Google is redefining sustainability one click at a time.

The COE United Parallel Processing Discussions blog cited us in the post "Optimize Compilers". Original post: More Efficient Supercomputers.

Green ICT Resources in Many Languages

We are a USA-based initiative, so we publish in English. There is a growing wealth of Green ICT material in other languages. This is a directory of the references on Vertatique to non-english resources.

Technologies for the Future of Green ICT

There is a rich global mix of advanced concepts and technologies emerging from research labs that may improve the future sustainability of ICT equipment and infrastructures. We regularly update this post with technologies of interest. (You can see all the technologies which hold the promise of greener ICT in the future by clicking the 'FutureTech' tag, above.) Our latest posts span research into biological agents that can recover gold from e-waste to multiferroic materials to reduce device waste heat.

Media Production's Footprint

The creation of ICT content - software and e-media - is part of ICT's footprint of resource input and waste output. A 2009 UK report, while dated, is still helpful in scoping the size and structure of media industry footprints.

The "C" in ICT is Driving Global Energy Consumption

We launched Vertatique with the statistic that data centers consumes ~2% of global electricity production. We now know that the globe's broader ICT energy footprint is ~8%, the majority of which is NOT from data centers. The contribution of communications, driven by explosion of cloud computing and mobile devices, has helped drive the number higher. Here are the facts and figures.

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