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Grow a Greener Data Center

Grow a Greener Data Center

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by Douglas Alger

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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


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

Product Details

Pearson Education
Publication date:
Networking Technology
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
File size:
5 MB

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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Grow a Greener Data Center (Networking Technology Series) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Boudville More than 1 year ago
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.