Dealing with data center waste heat and related issues

Chasing Green ICT

I became interested in Green ICT after managing a business with ~100 servers for a weather app, so I took note of this story about UK Met Office's efforts. The Met Office is doing many of the right things, but here's the ironic bottom line:

Green Computing Case Studies

Computerworld's "Top 12 Green-IT Users" list links each organization's name to a sustainable IT mini-case study. These organization include businesses from a variety of sectors, a non-profit, and a government agency. I was stuck by unique and unexpected implementations:

Where to look first for data center efficiency

Computerworld's The 5 quickest returns on your green investment is a quick summary of where to find what Gartner characterizes as "low hanging fruit" and "fat". Despite the mixed metaphor, statistics and case study references make this more useful than many summary articles.

A Wealth of Data Center Data

The McKinsey / Uptime Institute report Revolutionizing Data Center Efficiency, available as both a PowerPoint and a podcast, contains a wealth of current and projected data on energy utilization and GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions, including information about what various enterprises are doing. Among its findings:

Website Statement of Sustainable Computing

A "Website Statement of Sustainable Computing" tells your stakeholders what you are doing to minimize your website's energy consumption and carbon footprint. Here's a checklist you can use to construct your own statement, followed by a statement example:

Sun Eco Podcasts

Those of us attuned to audio information can now get podcasts from Sun Micosystems, a company regularly covered by Vertatique. The podcasts cover green computing and other aspects of sustainability and technology. iTunes link: http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=1605516...


"Virtualization" generally refers to any abstraction of computing resources. In the Green ICT context, it refers to consolidating multiple logical resources onto fewer physical resources. For example, hosting multiple web sites on a single server may make the most efficient use of that hardware. The power and HVAC load due to idle computers is reduced, but care has to be taken to ensure quality of service. Vertatique.com is hosted this way to minimize its energy/carbon impact.


Guidelines for Energy-Effiecient Data Centers

This is the title of a recently-released white paper from The Green Grid initiative. The paper provides a good overview of some of the contemporary ideas on how to create a "green data center", has a checklist to use in planning, and discusses some heat management techniques like Closely-Coupled Cooling. View the complete white paper.

Chip Performance Limited By Energy & Heat

Insight from Sun Microsystems on why energy and heat are becoming a drag on computing performance . . .

Data Center Constraints Represent Sustainability Opportunity

The Gartner Group states that 80 percent of the world's data centers are constrained by heat, space, and power requirements, according to Sun Microsystems. If this drives many data centers to expand/move in the next few years, then many data centers will have a good opportunity to adopt a more sustainable way of doing business . . .

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