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    Maybe Facebook should have bought a Bloom Box to diffuse Greenpeace’s campaign against a coal powered data center

    Thanks to Matt Stansberry’s reporting on SearchDataCenter, attention was drawn to Facebook’s Prineville Data Center being coal powered.

    Tiered energy rates bring higher prices for new customers
    By 2012, BPA will charge tiered rates for power. Customers that signed 20-year contracts in 2008 will pay tier-one (i.e., inexpensive) pricing for their current electricity demand. These customers use most of the power produced by the dams.

    By 2012, Oregon's Bonneville Power Administration will charge tiered rates for power.

    To meet new customer demand or increased demand from existing customers, BPA also purchases power from other sources. In 2012 this electricity will be classified as tier two, and it will be charged at a much higher rate than the BPA's current hydropower.

    Which brings us back to Facebook: The company's new data center is being built in Prineville, Ore., a small town on Oregon's high desert. Pacific Power, a utility owned by PacifiCorp, will provide the electricity. While Pacific Power gets some hydropower from BPA, its primary power-generation fuel is coal, according to Jason Carr, the manager of the Prineville office of economic development for Central Oregon.

    With the price of hydropower increasing in the Northwest, Facebook opted to bet on the incremental price increases associated with coal rather than face tier-two pricing from BPA.

    The news has spread to Greenpeace and Huffington.

    Greenpeace, Huffington Post join chorus critical of Facebook's Prineville data center

    By Mike Rogoway, The Oregonian
    February 21, 2010, 2:20PM
    On Friday, Greenpeace started its own campaign against Facebook's Prineville data center, joining others who want the social networking company to find an alternative to PacifiCorp coal.
    The Huffington Post took up the cause Friday night.
    Data Center Knowledge has an updated response from Facebook:
    It’s true that the local utility for the region we chose, Pacific Power, has an energy mix that is weighted slightly more toward coal than the national average. However, the efficiency we are able to achieve because of the climate of the region and the reduced energy usage that results minimizes our overall carbon footprint. Said differently, if we located the data center most other places, we would need mechanical chillers, use more energy, and be responsible for more overall carbon in the air—even if that location was fueled by more renewable energy.

    There is even a Facebook site for this topic with over 6,700 users.


    Maybe Facebook should have done as Google and eBay and bought a Bloom Box to demonstrate its interest in renewable energy.  Trouble is any moves now will be seen as damage control.


    SJMercury discusses the unveiling at eBay on Weds.

    Tech journalists have been summoned to the San Jose campus of eBay Wednesday for the official unveiling of the so-called "Bloom Box" at a high-powered event to include Bloom co-founder and CEO K.R. Sridhar, venture capitalist John Doerr, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and "a prominent California government official" widely believed to be Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    and Google is mentioned too.

    Search engine giant Google was Bloom's first paying customer; a Bloom Box sits behind one of the buildings on the Mountain View campus and has been powering a large chunk of the building's energy needs since July 2008.

    "We have a 400-kilowatt installation on Google's main campus that delivers clean and affordable power," said Google spokesman Jamie Yood. Over the first 18 months of the project, he said, the Bloom Box has functioned 98 percent of the time.

    The Bloom Boxes are not at a data center site, but early investment in renewable energy solutions pays off in goodwill to show willingness to take risks.

    We’ll see if the Greenpeace effort gains momentum or not, but it would have been harder for Greenpeace to attack Facebook if it could have made statements like Google and eBay.

    Click to read more ...


    Data Center Humor, Devotion to Duty

    One of my readers sent this link to Devotion of Duty.  Enjoy.


    Click to read more ...


    Technical Peak behind the IBM and Johnson Controls Partnership for Smarter Buildings

    IBM has a press release released today on its partnership with Johnson Controls for Smarter Buildings.  The partnership extends an effort started in 2007 in data centers to any buildings.

    IBM and Johnson Controls Join Forces to Make Buildings Smarter

    Combined Offering to Enhance Energy and Operational Efficiencies

    LAS VEGAS, - 22 Feb 2010: IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI), today announced a new relationship to create a new era of smarter buildings.  Together, the companies will team to provide a Smart Building Solution that can improve operations and reduce energy and water consumption in buildings worldwide.

    Building on an existing relationship formed between the two organizations in 2007 to create energy efficient datacenters, this new offering benefits any building or portfolio of buildings.  Johnson Controls will combine its global leadership in energy efficiency and sustainable services and technologies with IBM's global leadership in software, hardware and services.  The result will help clients address the growing pressure they face to improve energy and asset management performance across their enterprises.

    I was in the press room when Al Zollar and Rich Lechner made the announcement.  I wasn’t that excited as I didn’t have enough details to write a blog entry.  But, It is interesting the way some press reported.

    GreenTechMedia has this.

    IBM and Johnson Controls Team Up: Bad News for Building Start-Ups?

    The giant of computing and the giant of building management are pals.

    It's one step closer to the merger of building systems and IT systems. But it could be scary for start-ups and others promoting building management software.

    Steve Evans from Computer Business Review reports.

    Rich Lechner, VP, energy and environment for IBM, said that more intelligent building management systems are vital to future growth as well as the environmental benefits.

    "Smart buildings are the cornerstone of our strategy to deliver a smarter infrastructure. They are critical to the long-term environmental and economic sustainability of cities around the world," he said. "This is not just about reducing waste, it's about reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enabling the infrastructure to support the dramatic growth in urbanisation that we're seeing."

    This may seem scary for those like Hara Software. 

    I had a chance to wander the showroom floor and asked more questions from the Johnson Controls group.  Did a little Google Searching, then found something that didn’t get reported in the IBM announcement.  The Johnson Controls solution is built on their Oct 2008 acquisition of GridLogix.


    Gridlogix was acquired by Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) effective on October 16. We are now part of the largest global provider of integrated products, systems and services for commercial, industrial and residential buildings. With over 500 locations in more than 125 countries, Johnson Controls creates quality indoor environments that are energy efficient, safe and comfortable. To learn more about Johnson Controls, please visit

    As one of the Johnson Controls explained they are working to abstracting all the building management systems with their offering and enabling fault detection in addition to data feeds.

    Anyone who wants to work with John Controls building management solution can gain much of what IBM has from a technical standpoint.  Note this commitment from Johnson Controls to open standards.

    Systems Integration

    Building Image

    Whether you need open systems protocol integration, propriety building automation integration or a custom integration solution, Johnson Controls has the technological depth and facilities management expertise to meet your business needs.

    Open Systems Standards

    The Metasys® building management system was designed from the ground up with open standards of communications in mind. Whether your needs demand BACnet, BACnet MSTP, LonWorks, Modbus, N2, XML, Web Services or OPC, Johnson Controls can provide you with a complete integrated solution.

    Proprietary Standards
    The Metasys platform provides a wide array of paths to integrate propriety protocols and systems from most major manufacturer’s equipment, including Honeywell, Siemens, Andover, CSI, Invensys, Trane, and others.

    Some numbers quoted today by IBM sound just like GridLogix results from their 2008 website.

    Information Management for Sustainability
    Gridlogix provides your organization with the tools for sustaining your enterprise. More than going "Green", Gridlogix helps you continuously cut wasteful costs, prolong the life of your facilities’ equipment, and maintain a comfort level throughout your enterprise. With Gridlogix's Automated Enterprise Management solution, Gridlogix empowers anyone in your organization with the real time data that allows your organization to improve the efficiency of your facilities, typically reducing energy and maintenance costs by 10-20% with a payback of less than 18 months. Gridlogix delivers the best form of Green Energy, conservation.

    Here is a video of GridLogix system.

    Click to read more ...


    Taking a short blogging break, back Feb 22, 2010 attending IBM’s Pulse 2010 event in LV

    I have reached over 1,100 blog posts and it is increasingly easy to write on the Green Data Center topic, but it is winter break for my kids and we’ll be skiing with three different families over a week, so work and blogging is going to take a back seat for the next week.

    Thanks for adding this blog to your RSS Reader.

    Be back in a week.

    -Dave Ohara

    Click to read more ...


    Secret to saving electricity costs in Bay Area Data Centers, MOVE!!!

    I am back in the bay area and it is amazing the number of server hugging executive decision makers want to have their IT equipment within driving distance.  They have driven up the price of colocation space in the bay area, and ironically the colocation companies don’t want you to be energy efficient, they want you to be energy hogs.  You ever wonder why you are stuck not being to do simple things in colocation space like hot and cold aisles.

    What do you do to save energy costs?  MOVE out of the bay area!!!

    You look at Google, Apple, and Facebook to reduce costs and scale they move out of the bay area.

    Here is a case in point of how the server hugging behavior blinds people to save money.

    Power costs in the Bay Area from PG&E is about $0.13 – 0.14 kW.  Silicon Valley Power can save you a few cents, but you are paying over ten cents a kW.  You can go to Pacific Northwest or East in central US and get below five cents a kilowatt.  If you don’t want to move out of state, closer to the bay area you can go to Sacramento and get eight cents a kW.

    If you are going to move you need connectivity.  It is one of the reasons you are in the bay area.  Advanced Data Centers is an example we’ll use in Sacramento.



    McClellan Park is strategically located to leverage the multitude of carriers providing both wavelength (metro and long-haul) and traditional data/telecommunications services. ADC is committed to maintaining carrier neutrality and diverse options for its client’s connectivity requirements. Tenants will have direct access to the following carriers and service providers: 360, AT&T, Global Crossing, Level3, O1 Communications, Qwest, Sprint, Surewest, Time Warner Telecom, Verizon Business, and XO.

    Power and efficiency


    USGBC LEED© Platinum pre-certification.


    By utilizing energy efficiency strategies such as Air Side Economizers, Hot/Cold Isle and Highly Efficient Chiller and Fan systems, ADC uses 38% less overall energy (to operate the same Critical Load) as industry standard data centers according to the 2003 LBNL Data Center Benchmarking Study. This reduces both the burden on the environment and utility grid, while lowering the total cost of data center ownership.

    Cleaner power


    The ADC McClellan Park data center is served by SMUD, one of the nation's "greenest" utility districts. SMUD’s 2009 Power Mix includes 19% eligible renewable energy (biomass, geothermal, wind, solar), 20% hydroelectric and 60% natural gas. Additionally, customers may elect to receive 100% renewable power under SMUD's Greenergy® program.

    And oh by the way what all the big boys get moving out of state is sales tax exemption.  You can get it at McClellan AFD as well.

    Being located on a former Air Force Base, LAMBRA, an acronym for "Local Agency Military Base Recovery Area", allows our customers to claim a credit equal to the sales or use tax paid or incurred to purchase up to $20 million of qualified property. Qualified property includes high technology equipment, such as computers and electronic processing equipment.

    Now, moving may seem expensive, but it is often the easiest way to save money and be more efficient.

    Think about moving out of the bay area to save energy and costs.  All the big data center players are.

    Click to read more ...