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How Green and Sustainable Should Data Centres Become?

 

WebKnowHow
Friday, February 16, 2007; 03:57 AM

A new seminar will take place at this year’s Data Centres Europe event to address the rising concern for power efficiency and sustainability in the Data Centre (www.datacentres.com/dce)

Reflecting the focus given to the issue already evidenced in the sustainable design movement initiated by the US Green Building Council (USGBC), the first European Green seminar will be provided as part of this year’s annual Data Centres Europe event.

A distinguished panel of experts including Ian Bitterlin, vice president EMEA and Asia of Active Power, Stephen Andrews, principal of Gensler Architects, Sol Squire, managing director of Data Islandia and Arun Shenoy, director of digital enterprises at Intel UK and Ireland, will discuss the practical outcomes of current green innovation and timetable for implementation.

Global consultancy ARUP will also provide a workshop amplifying these issues, and address the implementation of green strategies in the data centre.

‘Data centres are clearly energy intensive and their ongoing evolution should consider not only the growing IT driven demand but also the need to minimise carbon footprint, challenging any acceptance that opportunities to improve sustainable performance are limited or simply do not exist,’ commented Andrew Harrison, Director at ARUP.

‘Whether data centres can be green, will depend on factors such as design and the application of alternative and renewable technologies. I believe we should set targets - achieving a LEED™ or BREEAM™ rating for example, and challenge ourselves by thinking unconventionally about data centres, which will be a key theme for us to discuss at the forthcoming event.’

Collectively the experts will discuss perhaps the biggest challenge in designing a green data centre which is that the buildings are high consumers of energy, with built-in redundancies and enormous amounts of equipment.

Strategies that will be assessed include Energy Star rated equipment, LEED certification, the use of fuel cell and flywheel technologies, catalytic converters on the backup power diesel generators, the use of recycled materials, low emission paints and carpeting, as well as sustainable landscaping features.

As performance per Watt has increasingly become a benchmark in buying criteria for companies building data centres, the panel will discuss whether the industry has reacted quickly enough to provide measurable benchmarks such as power ratings on servers.

Other issues such a cooling at chip level, distribution of airconditioning systems and measurement of airflows, rack systems with centralised power to cut energy use, and the onset of virtualisation are issues that also occur throughout the event.

Data Centres Europe will be taking place in London 22-23 March 2007 at the Millennium Hotel in Grosvenor Square

For more information visit www.datacentres.com.

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