Green Grid Tools Support Data Center Efficiency
The Green Grid has launched several new tools and reports to help global businesses improve the energy efficiency of their data centers and operations. These include a new power usage effectiveness (PUE) reporting tool and regional tools for calculating free cooling.
Green Grid, together with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Energy, and executives from a variety of industries, shared their challenges with data center energy management and offered practical recommendations for improvement at a forum hosted by the NYSE Euronext at the New York Stock Exchange.
The Green Grid presented the results of a recently-completed assessment of a mid-tier data center operated by the EPA, along with recommendations for next steps that the EPA can follow to improve efficiency.
The Green Grid makes several recommendations to achieve efficiency improvements and energy use reductions such as installation training for contractors, engineers and designers working in the data center in order to address airflow blockages, hot aisle/cold aisles, airflow path (CRAC to server), cable management and airflow management and sealing of openings.
The Green Grid also suggests establishing minimum purchasing requirements, such as for uninterruptable power systems and rack configurations with front-to-back airflow, to ensure efficiency and best practices.
According to the report, if the EPA can deploy techniques that improve efficiency by 20 percent, it can save $15,000 per year in this one data center. IDC estimates that there are 75,000 similar-sized data centers across the United States, and if all of them could achieve that same level of savings, more than $1.1 billion in annual energy costs could be avoided in data centers across the country, according to the Green Grid.
The Green Grid also continues to assist the Department of Energy in testing and validating the DC Pro tool, an online software tool provided by the U.S. Department of Energy to help industries worldwide identify how energy is being consumed by their data centers and identify the best opportunities for savings.
The Green Grid also extended its free online tools and maps to help data center and facilities managers in Japan and 33 European countries determine how much outside air — also known as free cooling — is available for individual data centers. In April, the organization unveiled the program for data managers in the U.S. and Canada.
In addition to free cooling from outside air, the tool provides information about savings that could be obtained using water-side economizers.
The Green Grid also introduced a new free online tool for data center managers to record their power usage effectiveness (PUE) scores that will establish global consistency in reporting the split between energy flowing to IT equipment and facility operations.
By implementing several green data center initiatives including the installation of energy-efficient servers and improved air flow management, NTT America’s Ashburn Data Center, in Northern Virginia, has earned the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification.
The Ashburn Data Center will also be SAS 70 Type II certified as of October 2009, and has infrastructure topology consistent with the Concurrently Maintainable criterion of the Uptime Institute’s Tier III classification and performance standard.
As part of its Corporate Green Initiative, NTT America also purchases carbon offsets to balance the emissions of its own IT equipment, uses alternative power supplies, recycles company-wide and subsidizes mass transit and telecommuting.
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