With data center power and cooling costs becoming a key issue for businesses, vendors such as Hewlett-Packard are using their expertise to help customers find ways to make their new or existing facilities greener. HP officials point to four data centers that they run or have designed that use everything from reflective roof materials to the icy air of the North Sea to help reduce energy costs.
Over the past few years, the issue of power and cooling costs for data
centers has moved from being an afterthought to the forefront in the minds of
Businesses are seeing as much as half of their IT budgets being spent to
keep the facilities powered, cooled and lit, according to Duncan Campbell, vice
president of worldwide marketing for Hewlett-Packard
's Adaptive Infrastructure
business, and that ratio is not improving, thanks to greater density in the
data center and the rising cost of energy.
"It's a big number ... and it's growing," Campbell
said in an interview.
The drive to reduce power and cooling costs-fueled both by internal needs
and by pressure from the federal government, which is looking to reduce the
country's reliance on fossil fuels and promote green energy-is giving rise to
business efforts within IT vendors such as HP to help enterprises design more
ecofriendly data centers.
"Sometimes people are extending the life of their current data centers,
and other times we're helping them build their next-generation data
center," Campbell said.
"The incentive to attack [these power costs] is very much driven by how
much [of the] budget is being spent on them."
Campbell and HP Enterprise Services Fellow Ed Kettler, a green IT strategist
(HP Enterprise Services was formerly
HP's EDS services business
), recently pointed to four examples of
businesses using technology to make their new or existing data centers greener.
Two of these facilities belong to HP customers, while the other two HP adopted
when it bought EDS in 2008 for $13.9
here to take a look at these green data centers from HP.
Power Loft, which builds facilities that other businesses use to house their
data centers, is using a two-story solution in building a 220,000-square-foot
facility in McLean, Va.
The two-story model-recommended by HP Critical Facilities Service and delivered
by EYP MCF-segregates the power and cooling
infrastructure from the raised-floor environment, a move that lets Power Loft
scale out the IT environment while optimizing the flow of energy and cooling to
the equipment, Campbell said.
The result is that the facility can accommodate 50 percent more racks and
twice the power capacity of comparable Tier 3 data centers, and also uses 70
percent less critical power. The design will save Power Loft $10.5 million in
annual electric costs, with projected savings of $350,000 per megawatt of
critical power, he said.
Those benefits garnered the data center the LEED (Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design) Silver rating from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Managed hosting provider Opus Interactive is upgrading its IT environment
with HP's ProLiant
-including blade systems-and LeftHand P4000 SAN
(storage area network), as well as server virtualization technology from
to improve the capacity of its Portland,
Ore., data center.
The result is that Opus Interactive can host 29 times more servers per
rack-about 1,200 virtual servers per rack-while cutting power consumption in
half, Campbell said.
Opus also is using 100 percent wind-generated power supplied by Portland
General Electric, and has installed motion sensor lighting to help reduce
consumption, he said.