Sep 13, 2012

Four ways to become more green


Four ways to become more greenOne of my childhood favorites said it best, “It’s not that easy being green.” Kermit the frog had it right, but we aren’t just referring to color.  In this case it means green sustainability; it means energy efficiency, and it means cutting-edge practices to deliver major operational benefits. Achieving these is no small task, especially for IT professionals trying to fuse green corporate objectives into their infrastructure. To make it easy on you, we’ve put together a short list of common practices to help you be more green.

1. Managing your racks

Often overlooked, this zero-cost action at the rack level can help provide cooling where it is most needed. Simply improving the cable management at the discharge of the server rack can help reduce recirculation. Placing higher density servers at low- or mid- level U’s can also help reduce re-circulation over the rack, especially if implemented with blanking panels. Improving overall air management allows cold air to be delivered more effectively to the server inlets.

2. Monitoring your power usage

Being able to understand your power consumption is critical to knowing if you are running at maximum efficiency. Branch circuit monitoring is one way to achieve this. With this solution a physical monitor is installed on your power circuit that provides reporting back to the network. With more visibility you can make tweaks to configurations, cabling, hot/cold aisle designs and ultimately control your environment so it performs that way you want.

3. Utilizing efficient equipment

According to Data Center Knowledge, purchasing servers is one of the most important factors in making data centers (and colocation data center investments) more cost-effective and energy-efficient. Fortunately, more energy-conscious processors are available to help lighten the draw on resources like power and cooling. By using more efficient chips, server processors are able to save more energy when equipment is idle and during server refresh cycles.  Additional components to increase airflow in the chassis and system settings to increase efficiency are also a part of newer servers. The federal government also has an Energy Star Program for servers, so equipment bearing this seal is approved for greater efficiency — in some cases consuming 54% less power than older models.

4. Partnering with green a data center provider

Finding a partner that is aligned with your goals is also a way to make sure green policies are reinforced.  Some of the accrediting organizations and seals to look for include LEED from the U.S. Green Building Council, Green Globes from the Green Building Initiative, Energy Star from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, as well as standards set forth by ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers) or the Green Grid. Certifications awarded by these organizations are signs of a truly green initiative. You can find more on choosing a green data center provider in our eBook, complete with practices colocation providers should have in place for greater efficiencies.

In the spirit of green, I am proud to say we announced some major milestones this week in green design for two of our most innovative facilities to date. Our Dallas data center was awarded a LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council, and our Santa Clara facility was ranked 65 on the InformationWeek 500 List of Top Technology Innovators for green achievements.

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