1. Green Data Center News

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    1. Do SuperComputers Turn a Green Data Center Gray? By Doug Maloney

      Do SuperComputers Turn a Green Data Center Gray?  By Doug Maloney
      Green data center technology and supercomputing aren't two things that go well together, and there's a reason why. Faster computational performance in a densely packed space requires the hottest – literally – CPUs available packed very close together. All that heat requires somewhere to go, which requires cooling and more dollars to the power bill. Exhibit A for this is IBM's Blue Waters supercomputer being built at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus, as reported by News.com. The machine is getting its own 88,000 square foot building and be theoretically capable of speeds of 10 petaflops, about 10 times as fast as the fastest supercomputer today. Blue Waters will use lots and lots of brand new IBM Power7 processors expected out in the first half of 2010 – a total of 16,384 chips together. Each Power7 processor integrates eight processing cores in one chip package and each ...
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    2. Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen- by Paul Bernier

      Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen- by Paul Bernier
      President Obama heads to Copenhagen for the United Nations Climate Change Conference. While there, he’s expected to commit to lowering U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent by 2020. For all the talk about the environment, the United State currently lacks national regulations around greenhouse gases, although 29 states have adopted or are considering such legislation, and the House in June passed a bill addressing this issue, according to the ICT Green Report recently issued by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA). This goal that the President is expected to put on the table in Denmark can also be found in the Waxman-Markey bill that made its way through the U.S. House of Representatives back in June. The Senate is now doing work of its own on this front. That said, Obama is clearly expecting this legislation to become reality so he can deliver on the promise.
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    3. "climate gate" won't halt the carbon economy- by Peter Judge

      "climate gate" won't halt the carbon economy- by Peter Judge
      IT people will have two questions over the leak of emails from a leading climate change research institute last week. What does it imply about email security, and does it really blow apart the consensus around global warming - and if so, can we stop worrying about building green data centers? The security question won't be answered for a while. The University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Institute (CRU) is a leading source of climate data, and a major contributor to the science behind the political move to prevent global warming. There's likely to be an inquiry into the way the emails were leaked, but the University is wary it could turn into a media circus.
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    4. IDC Index, Study to Offer G20 Environmental ICT Rankings, Recommendations- by Paula Bernier

      IDC Index, Study to Offer G20 Environmental ICT Rankings, Recommendations- by Paula Bernier
      A new index to be released the week after next by research and consulting firm IDC scores various G20 countries’ abilities to harness IT and communications technologies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and explains why each ranks as it does. The goal of the ICT Sustainability Index, according to IDC, is both to create new understanding around these issues in general as well as to help these countries prioritize and include such communications-related investments as part of their environmental strategies going forward.
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    5. Legislation Sparking Green Innovation in Iceland - By Tate Cantrell

      Legislation Sparking Green Innovation in Iceland - By Tate Cantrell
      Following my last blog on the expanding green movement comes some pretty big news surrounding carbon reduction legislation making its way through the US Congress. The U.S. climate bill just passed its first test in the Senate with an 11 to 1 vote by the Environment and Public Works Committee to move onto the full Senate for consideration with other bills. The proposed legislation would require U.S. industry to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases 20 percent by 2020, from 2005 levels. The progress is certainly opportune timing as the U.S. along with 190+ countries head to Copenhagen in December for the UN Climate Change Conference to try to build the framework for a global treaty on reducing carbon emissions.
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    6. Time to Dive into Liquid Cooling - by Peter Judge

      Time to Dive into Liquid Cooling - by Peter Judge
      Liquid cooling is bubbling back to the surface of green IT thinking. Last week saw the launch of a new system which claims to cut cooling costs for servers, by around 93 percent - and IBM has predicted that all servers could ultimately be cooled by liquid. Liquid cooling used to be the Roll Royce option. The only way to make super-dense, super-expensive supercomputers work without overheating, while more ordinary mainframes and computers could get along happily with air. Now, with virtualisation and miniaturisation, blade servers in data centres are becoming so densely packed that removing the heat is becoming the biggest barrier to making them more efficient. But surely, liquid cooling would be too costly? UK-based Icetope reckons it can fix that with a modular system it launched at Supercomputing 2009 last week.
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      Mentions: IBM Peter Judge
    7. NSA Going Green with $1.6 Billion Utah Data Center by Doug Mohney

      NSA Going Green with $1.6 Billion Utah Data Center by Doug Mohney
      Even the National Security Agency (NSA) is not immune to the lure of green IT. Information Week says the agency responsible for monitoring and protecting against cybersecurity threats will build a brand new $1.5 billion data center in Utah to provide intelligence and warnings related to cybersecurity threats, cybersecurity support to defense and civilian agency networks, and technical assistance to the Department of Homeland Security. Being built at Camp William, a National Guard training center 26 miles south of Salt Lake City, phase one of the NSA center will be a $800 million, 30 megawatt facility, with an $800 million expansion in phase two to 65 megawatts – or about the same amount of power used by all the homes in Salt Lake City combine.
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    8. Cloudy with a chance of flexibility by Paula Bernier

      Cloudy with a chance of flexibility by Paula Bernier
      Cloud-based services, which can offer benefits in terms of energy efficiency and lowering energy consumption, are poised to make some exciting advances in terms of standardization, management and what I’ll refer to as mobility. For example, Fujitsu says its IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) platform will enable customers to create, configure, expand, and delete their information and communication technology via the Internet via either a Web browser or by software through a cloud API. Perhaps more important, however, is that by standardizing the cloud API, which Fujitsu aims to do through its work with the Distributed Management Task Force, could greatly reduce customer dependency on one particular cloud provider. That means customers could potentially switch cloud providers without having to change their applications.
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    9. Dummies for Green IT --By Doug Mohney

      Dummies for Green IT --By Doug Mohney
      Yes Virginia, there is a "Dummies" book for Green IT Green IT for Dummies doesn't break any rules out of "For Dummies" tried and tested formula, other than a couple of splashes of green on the on the front of back of the loud yellow color. On the other hand, it does provide a lot of clue if you are starting from ground zero in building a plan to going green in your data center. Resist the urge to skip the first chapter – "Win-Win-Winning with Green IT" – it may be a bit too rah-ray for some, but there are a number of interesting pointers to more information and factoids that will provide useful. For example, some college grads will accept $13,000 less in lower starting salary to work for/on Green IT initiatives; you have to love being able to save the planet while saving money on a ...
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      Mentions: Doug Mohney
    10. The Sun Devil is in the details by Paula Bernier

      The Sun Devil is in the details by Paula Bernier
      The Greenbuild International Conference and Expo is wrapping up its last day today in Phoenix, Ariz., not far from my home office in Scottsdale. The event featured such environmental lights as former Vice President Al Gore and singer/activist Sheryl Crow as well as speakers from the Discovery Channel, the Green Building Council, the National Geographic Society and leading companies including John Deere and Starbucks. The event covered everything from climate change, public transportation, sustainable food strategies, LEED certification and regulatory/political aspects of the green revolution to best environmental practices around water purification, building ventilation and lighting, demolition and more.
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    11. The People, Process And Technology Of Next Generation Data Centers - By Tate Cantrell

      The People, Process And Technology Of Next Generation Data Centers - By Tate Cantrell
      We are closing in on Interop New York and I am looking forward to contributing to a panel discussion, entitled The People, Process And Technology Of Next Generation Data Centers. This is an exceptionally relevant topic as we see IT and facilities managers alike embracing the financial and ecological efficiencies of process convergence. At Verne Global, we offer wholesale data center solutions and as such, we are focused on ensuring that the enterprise can maximize the benefits of process convergence while reaping the financial rewards that outsourcing can provide. And truly – financial benefit is surely the ultimate goal of the new generations of technologies.
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      Mentions: Tate Cantrell
    12. Easier to be Green outside of North American and Europe by Doug Mohney

      Easier to be Green outside of North American and Europe by Doug Mohney
      With a trio of announcements, IBM finds an embrace of Green IT data center practices outside of North America and Europe. EWeek.com reports the company is going to build energy-efficient data centers in Brazil, Slovakia, and India. The reasons behind the deals shouldn't be surprising. IBM says about half (yes, half) of its green data center revenue is coming in from outside of the United States. Companies in emerging markets find that power is expensive and/or there's limited access to it. In addition, there's (to abuse the term) a green field effect in building from scratch, so it is easier for companies to incorporate new technologies from the start in South America, Eastern Europe, and parts of Asia and the Middle East. Companies are not burdened with a lot of legacy equipment and thinking, so they can move directly to incorporating the best green practices ...
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    13. Seeing Green by Paula Bernier

      Seeing Green by Paula Bernier
      Hello. This is my first blog on this site, so I’d like to start with a quick introduction. As you can see, my name is Paula Bernier and I’m an 18-year reporting veteran of the communications space. I’m exciting to have been invited to blog for Green Data Center News given all the interest and important developments related to improving energy efficiency and lessening environmental impacts at the data center as well as the broader pushes on these fronts across the network, the nation and many parts of the world.
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    14. Green Shoots are Thriving in Iceland by Tate Cantrell

      Green Shoots are Thriving in Iceland by Tate Cantrell
      Many of my recent blogs have explored the benefits that Iceland offers as a data center location for low-cost electricity and cooling in the growing green movement. As the movement strengthens and carbon-reducing legislation continues materializing around globe, Iceland could be the one who in turn sees a benefit from environmentally conscious IT industry projects. Technology innovation and clean energy are now making a major impact on how and where companies conduct their business. No longer thought of as a fad, this affection for eco-friendliness is catching the attention of numerous businesses and investors worldwide in an otherwise dreary economical landscape.
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    15. As Simple as curtains? By Doug Mohney

      As Simple as curtains?  By Doug Mohney
      Could saving energy in a data center be as simple as installing curtains? It sounds too good to be true, but Simplex Isolation Systems says its AirBlock curtains and partitions can save as much as 15 percent on air conditioning power and up to 67 percent on fans. Most interestingly, it's a very low-tech solution; you can find the same type of technology in your grocer's large walk-in freezer. Think about the vertical plastic "strips" you've seen across the front of a freezer. Those simple overlapping strips serve to keep cold air in freezers while allowing people to move freely in and out of the space without having to fuss with opening and closing the door all the time. The same technology is being used to partition up data center aisles into hot and cold areas for more efficient cooling.
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      Mentions: Doug Mohney
    16. Uncle Sam wants green data centers - by Doug Mohney

      Uncle Sam wants green data centers - by Doug Mohney
      Federal data centers are being targeted for energy reductions as a part of a broader push for U.S. government agencies to reduce greenhouse gases, reports Federaltimes.com. But will it make a difference? An executive order signed by President Barak Obama on October 5 requires agencies to begin measuring greenhouse gas emissions and set targets for reducing them. Data centers look to be an easy target for savings since the government owns around 10 percent of the country's centers and servers based upon an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated generated on 2006 data. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is now in the process of collecting updated statistics from all agencies, including details on energy consumption, property location and capacity of centers; the last inventory by OMB was back in 1999 – a couple of lifetimes of server hardware and data growth.
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    17. Optimizing Iceland by Tate Cantrell

      Optimizing Iceland by Tate Cantrell
      As we’ve explored in past blogs, carbon reduction legislation combined with an unflattering economy has companies all over the world reassessing their data center practices to reduce power consumption and curb electricity costs. Our focus here in Iceland is helping companies tackle both of these tall tasks by making use of the environment for green energy sources and natural cooling. While many companies are exploring this trend for strategically locating data centers based on nature’s benefits, others have focused their attention on making proactive changes within the infrastructure to lower emissions and power costs.
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    18. Put Bio Diesel in your backup generator? By Doug Mohney

      Put Bio Diesel in your backup generator?  By Doug Mohney
      Diesel generators are the stock-in-trade of the majority of backup power solutions for data centers around the globe.  Some companies have smelled the French fries, so to speak, and have started buying generators tweaked (just a little) for specifically burning biodiesel.  Others are comfortable, with the right supplier, using a biodiesel blend as a drop-in replacement for the petroleum-based product. Bio-diesel is a fuel derived from any natural fat or oil and designed to burn in (what else?) a diesel engine. Every couple of months you have probably come across the cliché' story of a diesel vehicle – Mercedes-Benz cars seem to be a favorite – being run on a product derived from used cooking oil from the local fast food restaurants that, when burned, gives off the smell of whatever food was cooked in it.
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    19. A new energy currency- by tate cantrell

      A new energy currency- by tate cantrell
      In last week’s blog, I mentioned the potential impact of a Copenhagen Protocol coming out of the upcoming December summit on companies’ long-term carbon emissions planning. One of the questions I received back on that post asked what might happen if the Copenhagen Protocol doesn’t pass. What impact would something like that have on the energy supply? Does energy become a new, high-value currency? If so, what options do companies, and countries for that matter, have open to them? The UK is facing this very real threat in the next few years, independent of the Copenhagen Protocol. Recently, the TimesOnline reported that Britain’s energy regulator is forecasting a power supply reduction in the UK in the next four years.
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    20. One Thing that could sink a cloud by Carol Wilson

      One Thing that could sink a cloud by Carol Wilson
      NetApp CEO Tom Georgens acknowledged the elephant in the cloud computing room last week, in his speech to the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s Data Center Energy Efficiency Summit. Georgens acknowledged that security remains a major concern for those considering adoption of cloud computing. There has been a plethora of problems recently with loss of data stored on a server somewhere in the network, the most recent being the Microsoft-T:Mobile fiasco in which massive amounts of consumer data stored for access by smartphones was lost. Obviously, there is good reason to think twice about storing mission-critical and/or sensitive data in a network “cloud.”
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    21. How Low Can you go with your CO2? By Tate Cantrell

      How Low Can you go with your CO2?  By Tate Cantrell
      The latest information from the Carbon Disclosure Project marks an encouraging change in the actions of big companies working to reduce their carbon emissions.  The Carbon Disclosure Project is an independent non-profit organization that gathers voluntary information regarding carbon emissions from thousands of companies around the globe. According to their new Global 500 Report, companies are implementing standard practices for carbon planning more than ever before. Their banner quote in the Executive Summary says it all – “In 2009, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) received the highest response rate to date, the highest level of disclosed emissions and greater detail than ever before on the activities being undertaken by the largest corporations around climate change mitigation and adaptation.”
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      Mentions: Tate Cantrell
    22. Energy czar promises “certainty” on energy usage rules - by Carol Wilson

      Energy czar promises “certainty” on energy usage rules - by Carol Wilson
      Most businesses view new government regulations on energy usage much the same way college students view 8 a.m. classes, i.e., as something to be avoided. The reasons are obvious: Government regulations invariably add costs. To date, most data center energy savings efforts have also focused on reducing costs, by using server resources more efficiently and cutting energy usage. Even against that backdrop, however, the Obama Administration has said there will be major energy legislation from Congress to set energy reduction targets and impose rules on businesses that dictate how those targets are met.
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    23. Powering with rather than against mother nature - by tate cantrell

      Powering with rather than against mother nature - by tate cantrell
      Product downloading is fast becoming a very popular delivery option for the selling and distribution of large digital items like movies, video games and software. This phenomenon could also prove to be hugely beneficial for the environment, according to a recent WSP Group study of Microsoft Office distribution. The report concludes that "digital delivery reduced total tonnes of carbon emissions by 88%." Since this report came out, a number of folks have expressed skepticism surrounding such a dramatic shift. After all, the computers and data centers needed for delivery of these downloads have historically been known to leave fairly large carbon footprints.
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    24. Easy and Hard Path to Green - by Doug Mohney

      Easy and Hard Path to Green - by Doug Mohney
      Government entities are finding that there's no simple answers when it comes to going green, reports Federal Computer Week – welcome to the club, guys! The article, "How green is your data?," points out that organizations are going for easy wins in server hardware, but need to look at data and storage as another opportunity to right size servers. The top three energy saving measures among feds are moving to LCD monitors, buy Energy Star-compliant gear and pursue server virtualization, says a CDW Government report on energy-efficient IT. On the server side, there's plenty of data from vendors talking up their newer, energy-efficient products, but little information on how to save data-related energy costs and the return on investment – not to mention that fewer servers runs counter to the comp plans of hardware vendors.
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      Mentions: Doug Mohney
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