Posted by Jeannette Beltran | Posted in Data center design, Data center energy efficiency, Green IT, Uptime Institute Green Enterprise IT Awards, Uptime Institute Symposium, Uptime Symposium | Posted on 04-04-2013
Yesterday we profiled the 2013 Green Enterprise IT Award-winning case studies. Today we’ll provide a brief introduction to the case studies that were named Finalists or were recognized with an Honorable Mention.
Audacious Idea – Recognizes new, unprecedented ideas for realizing energy and resource efficiency.
Microsoft‘s Data Plant in Cheyenne, Wyoming, was named the Finalist in this category. This pilot project locates a data center at a biogas source in an attempt to demonstrate that if facilities can operate reliably independent of the utility grid, owners will have greater flexibility in siting choices and more data centers can achieve carbon-neutral status.
The judges recognized a patent-pending freestanding chilled air duct developed by QTS (Quality Technology Services) with an Honorable Mention. The duct delivers in-rack cooling directly to IT equipment, reduces the amount of underfloor static pressure required, minimizes hot and cold air mixing without the need for containment, and eliminates the need for perforated tiles.
Facility Design Implementation – Recognizes cutting-edge data center projects that demonstrate energy and resource efficiency in a new, operational data center.
Both the Finalist and the Honorable Mention in this category were brownfield re-developments in conservation settings. As Finalists, the judges recognized Melbourne Water‘s new green data center designed by Norman Disney & Young. This facility uses an indirect free cooling design and promises to save over 600 tons of CO2 annually compared with their previous facility.
The venerable University of St Andrews IT Services department received an Honorable Mention for its new data center, which uses energy procured from renewable sources only. The facility recently received a Gold award from the British Computer Society’s Certified Energy Efficient Datacentre Award (CEEDA) program.
Facility Design Innovation – Recognizes cutting-edge data center designs that focus on energy and resource efficiency.
The judges named TELUS Corporation‘s Intelligent Internet Data Center, which features prefabricated modules provided by Skanska, as Finalists. The facility is Tier III design-certified by Uptime Institute, built to LEED Gold standards and reports a 1.15 PUE rating.
eBay‘s modular green data center in Utah received an Honorable Mention. This facility, designed by Winter Street Architects with engineering firm AHA Consulting Engineers, incorporates fuel cells for onsite power generation and reports a PUE of 1.13 or better with 100% free cooling.
Facility Product Deployment – Recognizes facility infrastructure products that significantly improve data center energy and/or resource efficiency, as demonstrated in a user deployment.
The judges designated the case study submitted by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and SynapSense Corporation as Finalists. In this project, the Lab retrofit variable-speed drives on constant-speed fans in the Computer Room Air Conditioners (CRACs), then controlled the speeds by deploying the SynapSense Active Control system and ThermaNode DX units. The PUE for the cooling system improved by 24%, even in the face of increased IT load.
Facility Retrofit – Recognizes data center facility retrofit projects that significantly improved energy and/or resource efficiency in an existing data center.
Schuberg Philis and engineering consultant De Vlieg Techniek will be honored as Finalists for their cooling system refit accomplished with zero downtime. In this project, the data center was equipped with a demand-controlled redundant cool water distribution system combined with free cooling via cooling towers. During the winter, the excess cooling energy produced by the cooling towers is stored in deep wells to be used during the summer months.
Green Digital Infrastructure Strategy – Recognizes exceptional energy and resource efficiency beyond an individual data center.
The judges recognized Avnet as Finalist for its company-wide approach to IT-enabled energy efficiency. In addition to numerous cooling, virtualization and storage upgrades in the data center, Avnet employs a system hibernation script, encourages telecommuting and video conferencing, and uses energy-efficient, motion-triggered lighting in warehouse spaces to save energy.
IT Product Deployment – Recognizes IT products that significantly improve energy and/or resource efficiency, as demonstrated in a user deployment.
The case study submitted by NTT DATA and Intel Corporation was recognized as the Finalist in this category. NTT used dynamic server power provisioning technologies to manage peak loads and ensure business continuity during the long-term power shortages Japan experienced after the 2011 earthquake in that country.
IT Retrofit – Recognizes projects in which IT operations staff significantly improved energy and/or resource efficiency while improving IT effectiveness.
The judges recognized Stanford University‘s server room consolidation project as Finalist in this category. By consolidating two server rooms and migrating to a new facility, the University increased compute capacity, improved PUE from 2.0 to 1.3, and regained valuable real estate for research efforts.
All honorees are invited to profile their case studies in the GEIT Awards Showcase (May 13, 2013) at Uptime Institute Symposium 2013 (May 13-16, 2013, Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA). Although attendance at the Showcase is free, preregistration is required.
Posted by Jeannette Beltran | Posted in Data center design, Data center energy efficiency, Green IT, Uptime Institute Green Enterprise IT Awards, Uptime Institute Symposium, Uptime Symposium | Posted on 03-04-2013
For five years, Uptime Institute’s Green Enterprise IT (GEIT) Awards have spotlighted the most innovative data center projects on the planet, and this year is no exception. Our 2013 Winners include an example of industrial symbiosis, a facility with a nine-foot raised floor, data centers featuring nontraditional power and cooling, and tens of millions of dollars in energy savings.
Audacious Idea – TeraCool
This Award recognizes new, unprecedented ideas for realizing energy and resource efficiency.
The winner is TeraCool’s proposal to locate data centers in close proximity with liquid natural gas (LNG) terminals to improve the energy efficiency of both facilities. The system would use the refrigeration energy created when LNG is vaporized to cool the data center, and use the waste heat from the data center to vaporize LNG. The system then adds an additional refrigeration loop to the circuit in which the refrigerant is pressurized, warmed and vaporized. The expanding refrigerant drives a turbine coupled to a generator to produce electricity in a combustion-free, emissions-free process.
Facility Design Implementation – National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), The RMH Group and H+L Architecture
This Award recognizes cutting-edge data center projects that demonstrate energy and resource efficiency in a new, operational data center.
The winner is the new high-performance computing (HPC) facility operated by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) under the auspices of the National Science Foundation. The NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center incorporates a high-efficiency closed-water cooling system and a low-pressure drop design in a nine-foot raised-floor environment. The facility is LEED Gold-certified and designed to achieve a PUE of 1.08.
Facility Design Innovation – TD Bank Group
This Award recognizes cutting-edge data center designs that focus on energy and resource efficiency.
The winner is TD Bank Group’s new facility that integrates sustainable design elements (e.g., rainwater harvesting, onsite renewable energy generation, heat recovery systems, natural lighting) with efficiently meeting its IT goals through server virtualization, tiered storage platforms, energy-efficient infrastructure, overhead cabling and more. This phased construction project is Tier III certified by Uptime Institute and LEED Platinum certified by USGBC.
Facility Product Deployment – University of Leeds, Iceotope and 3M Company
This Award recognizes facility infrastructure products that significantly improve data center energy and/or resource efficiency, as demonstrated in a user deployment.
The winning case study is the University of Leeds’ replacement of its HPC servers with Iceotope’s liquid-cooled server system, which uses a coolant produced by 3M Company. The server unit is closed and runs silently, which means it can be deployed in almost any setting. Because liquid cools more efficiently than air, the system significantly decreases the amount of energy used for cooling. In the University’s deployment, the hot output water from the system is reused to heat the lab via domestic radiators.
Facility Retrofit – Interxion
This Award recognizes data center facility retrofit projects that significantly improved energy and/or resource efficiency in an existing data center.
The winner is Interxion, for its use of seawater to cool its Stockholm data centers. In the system, seawater is used to cool multiple data centers in a process that is more efficient and uses less water than conventional seawater cooling systems. The warm water is used to heat local offices before it is returned to the sea. The system has helped Interxion reduce its energy costs on its Stockholm campus by 80 percent, free IT capacity, and improve PUE to a reported 1.09.
Green Digital Infrastructure Strategy – Cisco Systems
This Award recognizes exceptional energy and resource efficiency beyond an individual data center.
The winner is Cisco Systems, for the comprehensive Lab Energy Management Program employed in its 1,600+ labs worldwide. Teams audit individual labs to identify inexpensive, fast fixes for airflow, cooling and power. Next, labs implement energy-efficiency upgrades and deploy monitoring technologies. An employee engagement program helps maximize results, and information is shared throughout the organization to help other divisions implement their own energy-efficiency projects. The program is on track to reduce the labs’ energy costs by up to $9 million annually.
IT Product Deployment – Arc Productions and TSO Logic
This Award recognizes IT products that significantly improve energy and/or resource efficiency, as demonstrated in a user deployment.
The winning case study is Arc Productions’ deployment of TSO Logic’s server power management software to monitor power use on a per-application basis, identify idle servers, and manage server utilization. The data center is now on track to save 56% of its electricity costs without compromising performance.
IT Retrofit – Avnet
This Award recognizes projects in which IT operations staff significantly improved energy and/or resource efficiency while improving IT effectiveness.
The winner is Avnet, for its comprehensive program to upgrade its IT environment, saving over 1.75 megawatt hours of energy and avoiding a multi-million dollar power buildout for its data center. Projects included deploying a new storage environment, implementing virtualization, and upgrading the physical infrastructure to improve energy efficiency. As a result of these efforts, the organization has saved more than $18 million in energy costs while significantly increasing its IT and storage capacity.
All winners will present their case studies at Uptime Institute Symposium 2013, taking place May 13-16, 2013, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, Calif.
Tomorrow we’ll profile the case studies honored as Finalists and recognized with an Honorable Mention.
Posted by Jeannette Beltran | Posted in Data center consolidation, Data center energy efficiency, Uptime Institute Symposium, Uptime Symposium | Posted on 06-08-2012
The Uptime Institute Server Roundup contest was introduced in October 2011 to encourage the removal and recycling of obsolete IT equipment in an effort to decrease data center energy use. Last year’s first place winner, AOL, rounded up close to 10,000 servers and saved its organization over $5 million. An overview of AOL’s submission and cost savings can be found here.
Decommissioning a single 1U rack server can result in a savings of $500 per year in energy costs, an additional $500 in operating system licenses, and $1,500 in hardware maintenance costs.
“This contest is designed to engage the IT community to get serious about asset utilization and energy efficiency,” said Matt Stansberry, Director of Content and Publications, Uptime Institute.
The 2012 Server Roundup Contest is open from Jan. 1–Dec. 31, 2012. Deadline for submission of materials is Feb. 1, 2013.
Two winners will be determined, one for most IT equipment removed, one for largest percentage of IT equipment removed. We don’t care how you get there. Going virtual? Consolidating servers? Moving to the cloud? Going out of business?! We don’t care. Just unplug and decommission those machines.
Paperwork: What’s the proof? We want to see a paper trail. Send us change records. Do you identify machines by server name or serial number? Removed 752 servers? We want to see the submission of the work. Did you send the hardware to a recycler? Send us the receipt.
Results: We want to know how much energy you saved. Send us the UPS output reading before the change and after the change. You can do it right in the flow of work.
Photos: Send us a few before-and-after photos. Servers in the cabinets, servers in the docks going out. It doesn’t have to be exhaustive. Extra credit for creativity.
Winners in each category will receive commemorative rodeo belt buckles and a dedicated presentation slot at Uptime Institute Symposium, May 2013, in Santa Clara, Calif.
Submit your documents for inspection to Uptime Institute’s Matt Stansberry. Also send any comments, questions, cowboy jokes. Thanks for your interest. Hike up your Wranglers, unhitch your horses, and get to work.
Posted by Jeannette Beltran | Posted in Data center consolidation, Data center energy efficiency, Uptime Institute Symposium, Uptime Symposium | Posted on 30-07-2012
According to the 2012 Uptime Institute Data Center Industry Survey, 30% of data centers are rapidly running out of capacity. Many companies are seeking creative solutions to meet demand and conserve costs, but most of the strategies deployed involve significant up-front capital — requiring investment in new hardware and server virtualization.
Uptime Institute was interested in what kind of efficiency gains and cost savings organizations could achieve by decommissioning existing hardware in their data centers.
The companies that participated in the first annual Uptime Institute Server Roundup documented the decommissioning of outdated, unused and power-draining equipment and shared their energy- and cost-saving accomplishments. In March 2012, the Uptime Institute announced that AOL had come out on top after clearing out 9,484 servers, for a total savings of $5.5 million.
Starting in January 2011, AOL involved its entire TechOps team in three separate but related initiatives, with the objectives of eliminating inefficient and abandoned servers; shutting down or merging extraneous applications; and increasing utilization with an internal cloud. This project spanned three data centers in the United States, one small domestic colocation facility, and a leased colo space overseas.
One major component of AOL’s strategy to consolidate and decommission servers was its transition to cloud computing. Like many organizations today, AOL was running out of capacity in its data centers, so the company sought to migrate data to a scalable private cloud that would allow for quicker deployment times and reduce the capex and opex required for IT expansion. The AOL Cloud project kicked off in July 2010, and by October 2011, the company had launched its cloud data center, ATC — a 100% lights-out facility with no full-time employees — dedicated to hosting its private cloud.
Sister initiatives Project Absurdity and Power Hog involved extensive reviews of the organization’s existing products, applications and data center assets. Between the two projects, AOL had to look at nearly every individual server in its facilities and discuss each server’s future with its owners. As its name suggests, Project Absurdity sought to identify “absurd” server applications and products; specifically, products that had been neglected, abandoned or replaced with newer technology. Once identified, the AOL team was able to determine whether the product deserved re-investment or whether it should be transitioned to another project or shut down altogether.
The corresponding Power Hog initiative analyzed AOL’s hardware and assets, with a specific review of power consumption, as well as CPU, memory utilization and maintenance costs. Employees knew they and their servers had been “marked” as part of Power Hog when a trophy of a bronze pig appeared on their desks. (As AOL’s CTO Mike Manos said in a blog post, “I guess we were not below shame as a tactic.”) Of the 40,000 production hosts analyzed during the Power Hog project, the team decommissioned about 5,000, with an additional 2,400 hosts set to be decommissioned in the future. The investigation into AOL’s existing assets resulted in five outcomes: applications migrated to the cloud; applications migrated to a new non-cloud host; applications retired altogether; hosts consolidated; or hardware refreshed.
The 9,484 servers that were ultimately decommissioned equaled a 26% turnover of AOL’s IT assets. With each server operating at an average electrical cost of $174 per year, the decommissioning resulted in a savings of $1.4 million of its $13-million annual electric bill. Additionally, the consolidation saved $2.2 million in licensing costs, $62,400 in maintenance costs, and $1.2 million in recycling, scrapping and reselling old equipment – not to mention the avoidance of nearly 20 tons of carbon emissions. While the company did ultimately invest in 8,376 newer, more efficient servers, its net savings was still an impressive $4 million.
At AOL, it was all part of what Manos calls clearing the “cruft.” In his blog, Manos describes cruft as “years of build-up of technology, processes, politics, fiscal orphaning and poor operational hygiene” that can be a huge barrier to an organization’s agility in its online and IT operations. With the lessons learned through the course of the three projects, the AOL team offers these recommends to other organizations aiming to “clear the cruft”: Keep communication open with a broad audience; seek and secure ongoing executive sponsorship; maintain committed to continuing progress; and, importantly, keep it fun to avoid employee burnout.
Knowing how common it is for old, inefficient, and even completely abandoned servers to drain power in today’s data centers, it shouldn’t be surprising that so many organizations are running into capacity constraints in their facilities. And while it’s arguably “more fun” to focus on the deployment of new products and technologies, the cost savings and carbon-emission reductions that AOL saw after only one year demonstrates just how much organizations stand to gain by zeroing in on inefficiencies in their existing infrastructures.
Posted by mstansberry | Posted in Data center design, Data center operations, Uptime Institute Symposium, Uptime Symposium | Posted on 17-04-2012
For years, the data center industry has braced itself for extreme increases in computing density and the alarming consequences those increases are supposed to bring. But for as often as data center vendors have claimed the sky is falling, such dire predictions may not reflect reality.
The Uptime Institute set out to determine how prevalent high-density data center deployments have become, and surveyed its members in North America and EMEA on the power density in their facilities. The data is in, and it suggests that while high-density server deployments are out there, they are the exception.
Uptime Institute Professional Services VP Vince Renaud and Consultant Matt Mescall will be at Uptime Symposium 2012 to present the findings of the latest Data Center Density Report. They will analyze this year’s report as well as trends from previous years and discuss what it all means for the data center industry.