Greening Existing ICT Facilities

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.

A Global Leadership Award from the 2013 Brill Awards for Efficient IT went to a company where departments cooperated to deliver results. "Fidelity Investments implemented a strategic plan that resulted in 20% energy reduction in IT loads across all of the company’s data center environments. The Real Estate and Technology Organizations partnered to design and implement the firm's next-generation energy-efficient infrastructure design and achieved global ISO 14001 environmental management certification for its data center environments. These optimization efforts consolidated 80 server room locations down to 12, and avoided the need for a 2.5 MW data center project that was in the design phase."

Another financial services recipient of that award, Morgan Stanley, has create a multidisciplinary IT and Facilities team, the Enterprise Data Center (EDC) organization, for similar goals. A February 2014 Data Centre World presentation gives details, including a 30% energy cost reduction in European data center operations.

Computerworld reported in October 2011 that NBC Universal has implemented a variety of tactics in refurbishing its West Coast data center. The company "virtualized 60% of the physical servers and shut down 2,000 physical machines [and] uses cold containment aisles and a fiber topology that replaced 300,000 feet of copper cable and moved the cable plant overhead, rather than under raised floors. NBC also implemented smart power distribution units and rack-level environmental and power metering sensors, increasing rack densities by as much as 200%…The setup makes it easier to scale the data center efficiently by adding a row at a time…In total, the company retired and recycled 47 tons of hardware and cut power consumption by 11%."

The IT team also "sold the business on a multisite telepresence system that cuts staff travel costs and carbon emissions." Green ICT has its rewards in California: "the six-figure rebate check that arrived one day from utility company PG&E as a reward for increasing efficiency and reducing power consumption in the new data center."

Related: NBC O&O KNTV powers its main studio by wind and is the only US broadcaster recognized by EPA's Green Power Partnership as a 100% Green Power Purchaser.