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Grow a Greener Data Center (Networking Technology Series)

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Grow a Greener Data Center

A guide to building and operating energy-efficient,
ecologically sensitive IT and Facilities infrastructure

Conventional Data Centers can have a huge impact upon the environment, using massive amounts of energy and water, emitting pollutants, and discarding huge quantities of machine waste. Their insatiable demand for energy and often inefficient ...

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Grow a Greener Data Center

A guide to building and operating energy-efficient,
ecologically sensitive IT and Facilities infrastructure

Conventional Data Centers can have a huge impact upon the environment, using massive amounts of energy and water, emitting pollutants, and discarding huge quantities of machine waste. Their insatiable demand for energy and often inefficient designs make Data Centers expensive to operate and prime targets for future environmental regulation.

Fortunately, it’s now possible to design a Data Center that consumes fewer resources, costs less money to run, has a longer usable lifespan, and can even highlight a company’s social responsibility. Grow a Greener Data Center shows how.

Douglas Alger makes the business case for greening Data Centers and presents technologies, design strategies, and operational approaches to help any company improve the energy efficiency and “eco-friendliness” of their IT hosting environments. He provides multiple strategies for “greening” each phase of a new Data Center project–selecting a site, designing and building the facility, and choosing hardware–as well as tips for retrofitting an existing server environment.

Alger explores IT and facilities technology areas as well as broader green building practices, including building material selection, electrical system design, use of alternative energy, cooling system design, cabling media choices, fire suppression options, water conservation practices, landscaping strategies, recycling programs, e-waste management, and more.

  • Explores how to green each phase of your Data Center project including site selection, physical design, construction, and hardware selection
  • Offers green strategies for all Data Center technologies including power, cooling, cabling, fire suppression, and virtualization
  • Presents IT and facilities design (and retrofitting) strategies that can save hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in energy costs
  • Reveals financial incentive programs to help pay for green Data Center initiatives
  • Outlines Data Center efficiency metrics and environmental building assessment systems used worldwide to rate how green a facility is
  • Highlights the lessons of dozens of case studies and real-world installations pertaining to energy efficiency, green building projects, and Data Center technologies
  • Addresses broader green business practices including proper e-waste disposal, water conservation, and fostering alternative transportation

Related Title:

Build the Best Data Center Facility for Your Business

ISBN-10: 1-58705-182-6
ISBN-13: 978-1-58705-182-1

Category: Data Center

Covers: Green IT

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781587058134
  • Publisher: Cisco Press
  • Publication date: 8/31/2009
  • Series: Networking Technology Series
  • Pages: 299
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Douglas Alger is the IT Architect for Physical Infrastructure for Cisco. He develops architecture roadmaps, solutions, and policies for the physical infrastructure of the company’s Data Centers and other critical facilities around the world.

Doug has more than 20 years of varied professional experience including more than 12 years in Data Center physical design, Data Center operations, IT project management, construction project management, and IT infrastructure management. He has participated in more than 80 major Data Center projects, from all-new construction to substantially retrofitting existing facilities, and is the author of Build the Best Data Center Facility for Your Business.

Doug is a popular speaker, with more than 250 corporate customer engagements and dozens of presentations at various Data Center industry conferences. Prior to joining Cisco, Doug was a writer and editor in the News & Publications office of Syracuse University and, before that, a full-time stringer for the Los Angeles Times. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from San Jose State University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xvii

Chapter 1 Going Green in the Data Center 1

Defining Green 1

The Reasons to Go Green 2

Growing Power Demand, Shrinking Availability 2

Monetary Benefits 5

Capacity Gains 9

Increasing Regulation 10

Recent Government Green Commitments 10

Multicountry Green Commitments 11

Technology Advances 14

Public Perception 15

If You Don’t Own Your Data Centers 18

Resistance to Green 20

Green Incentive Programs 22

Utility Companies 22

Government Programs 24

Who Is Going Green 25

Green from the Start 26

Greenest Company in the World 26

Most Socially Responsible 26

Financial Institutions 27

Citigroup 28

HSBC Group 29

Technology Companies 29

Cisco 29

Hewlett-Packard Company 30

IBM 31

Retailers 31

The Home Depot 32

Wal-Mart 32

Chapter 2 Measuring Green Data Centers 35

Why Measure in the Data Center 35

What to Measure in the Data Center 36

Energy Usage 36

Carbon Footprint 37

Other Data Center Elements 39

Environmental Building Assessment Systems 39

Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method


Green Globes 42

Haute Qualité Environmentale (HQE) 43

Hong Kong Building Environmental Assessment Method (HK-BEAM) 44

Ecology, Energy Saving, Waste Reduction, and Health (EEWH) 45

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) 46

National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) 48

Comprehensive Assessment System for Building Environmental Efficiency


Green Star 50

Green Mark 51

Comprehensive Environmental Performance Assessment Scheme (CEPAS) 51

German Sustainable Building Certificate 52

Summary of Environmental Building Assessment Systems 53

Organizations Influencing Green Data Center Metrics 56

The European Commission 56

The Green Grid 57

Uptime Institute 57

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 58

Data Center Green Metrics 59

Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) 59

Data Center Infrastructure Efficiency (DCIE) 60

Compute Power Efficiency (CPE) 63

Technology Carbon Efficiency (TCE) 64

Corporate Average Data Center Efficiency (CADE) 65

Data Center Productivity (DCP) 68

Usage of Metrics 68

Chapter 3 Green Design and Build Strategies 71

Siting the Data Center 71

Building Design and Material Selection 73

Avoiding the Landfill 73

Embodied Energy and Emissions 76

Maintaining Air Quality 78

Choosing Efficient Fixtures and Appliances 80

Data Center Configuration 82

Building Exterior 82

Landscaping 85

Strategies for a Greener Construction Site 89

Building Commissioning 90

Retrofitting an Existing Data Center 91

Chapter 4 Powering Your Way to a Greener Data Center 93

How a Data Center Consumes Energy 93

The Carbon Factor 95

Alternative Energy Sources 101

Biofuels 102

Fuel Cells 102

Hydropower 105

Hydroelectric Dams 105

Tidal Power 106

Wave Power 107

Solar 107

Wind 108

Designing a Data Center Power System for Maximum Efficiency 109

Direct Current Versus Alternating Current 109

Power Distribution Units 112

Uninterruptible Power Sources 114

Generators 116

Lighting 118

Power Monitoring 119

Overhead Versus Under-Floor Distribution 119

Chapter 5 Cooling Your Way to a Greener Data Center 123

Setting Data Center Temperatures 123

Heat Recovery and Reuse 127

Using Waste Heat from the Data Center 127

Using Waste Heat for the Data Center 129

Mechanical System Opportunities for Efficiency 129

Economizers 130

Heat Wheel 132

Geothermal Cooling 132

Minimizing Partial Loads 133

Variable Frequency Drives 135

Cooling Tower Water 137

Hosting Environment Opportunities for Efficiency 138

Air- Versus Liquid-Based Cooling 139

Optimizing Airflow 141

Isolating Hot and Cold Airflow 141

Plenum 143

Sealing Unwanted Gaps 145

Cabinet Solutions 146

Mapping and Managing Hot Spots 146

Equipment Choices and Distribution 147

Cooling Distribution 148

Chapter 6 Cabling Your Way to a Greener Data Center 151

Cabling Choices 151

Manufacturing Considerations 152

Form Factor 153

Usable Lifespan 153

Power Consumption 154

Streamlining Cabling 157

Structured Cabling 157

Patch Cords 164

Chapter 7 Refrigerants and Fire Suppressants 169

Data Centers and the Ozone Layer 169

Evolution of Refrigerants 170

Evolution of Fire Suppressants 171

Greener Approaches to Refrigerants 175

Greener Fire Suppression Options 176

Changing Environmental Regulations 177

Fire in the Data Center 178

Chapter 8 Choosing Greener Gear 183

Environmental Impact of IT Hardware 183

Hardware Energy Efficiency Targets 185

Energy Star Specifications 185

Climate Savers Computing Initiative 187

Efficiency Metrics for Hardware 189

Energy Consumption Rating (ECR) 189

Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) 190

Space, Watts, and Performance (SWaP) 190

Hardware Utilization 191

Beyond Energy Consumption and Utilization 192

How Budget Process Impacts Hardware Choices 194

Idling Servers 196

Eliminating Less Efficient Hardware 197

Chapter 9 Greening Your Data Center Through Consolidation, Virtualization, and

Automation 201

Vision: The Service-Oriented Data Center 201

From Dedicated to Service-Oriented: a Paradigm Shift 203

Optimization Opportunities 208

Consolidation and Standardization 210

Less Is More 211

Consolidation Areas 214

Network 214

Compute Resources 218

Storage 220

Application and Database 224

Facilities 225

Additional Benefits and Challenges 226

Virtualization 227

Abstraction Layer 228

Virtualization Areas 229

Network Virtualization 229

Compute Resource Virtualization 231

Storage Virtualization 234

Application and Database Virtualization 238

Facilities Virtualization 239

Additional Benefits and Challenges 240

Integrated Automation 241

Dynamic Cooling 242

Idling Servers 242

Follow-the-Moon 243

Alternative Data Center Operating Models 243

Content and Application Delivery Networks 243

Everything-as-a-Service 244

Cloud Computing 244

Chapter 10 Greening Other Business Practices 247

Data-Center Consumables 247

E-Waste 248

Non-Data Center Consumables 249

Power Efficiency Outside the Data Center 250

Alternative Transportation 252

Appendix Sources of Data Center Green Information 255

Glossary 263

TOC, 9781587058134, 7.24.09

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Customer Reviews

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  • Posted September 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    reduce power consumption

    Alger addresses the problem of an ever increasing cost of running a data center. Unappreciated by most users of the Internet, this increase is a direct result of its popularity. The key concept of the book is to have several data center efficiency metrics. The most important is, of course, power consumption. This should [must] be minimised. Power turns out to be the main cost of most centers. Another factor to minimise is the amount of carbon dioxide that is produced. However the latter is hard to measure directly, whereas the power bill is explicit each month. While laudable it is to look at carbon dioxide, in practical terms, the reader should perhaps focus on power consumption.

    The text also has a nice summary of different national green certifications. Several countries have put serious effort into these, and the location of your data center should direct you first to its national certification as something to adhere to.

    Given that power should be minimised, how? Many tips are furnished. The simplest perhaps is to have a 'cool roof'. One that is highly reflective. In hot weather, this reduces directly the amount of solar heat absorbed by the center. Another good idea is to look at landscaping. If possible, try to have trees that shade buildings and parking lots.

    Inside the center, attention should be paid to improved internal cooling designs. Also, try using fibre instead of copper to transmit signals between the computers. Fibre has much greater bandwidth than copper, and these days it is often cheaper to produce. Another saving with fibre is that a fibre bundle is thinner than a copper cable bundle that would carry the same amount of traffic. So there is less airflow obstruction.

    However, the biggest power saving could be to move to virtualisation. It can greatly improve the usage of your existing machines, and so reduce the need to keep buying more computers.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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