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    Virtualization Blogger asks “how green is your data center?”

    Virtualization Journal has a post asking How green is your data center?

    How Green is Your Data Center?

    Give us your opinions and experiences designing and implementing the green data center


    Data Center “X” just announced a 2 MegaWatt expansion to their facility in Northern California. A major increase in data center capacity, and a source of great joy for the company. And the source of potentially 714 additional tons of carbon introduced each month into the environment.

    Think Green and EfficientMany groups and organizations are gathering to address the need to bring our data centers under control. Some are focused on providing marketing value for their members, most others appear genuinely concerned with the amount of power being consumed within data centers, the amount of carbon being produced by data centers, and the potential for using alternative or clean energy initiatives within data centers. There are stories around which claim the data center industry is actually using up to 5% of power consumed within the United States, which if true, makes this a really important discussion.

    What I found entertaining was the author’s use of search results to imply the importance of the topic

    If you do a “Bing” search won the topic of “green data center,” you will find around 144 million results. Three times as many as a “paris hilton” search. That makes it a fairly saturated topic, indicating a heck of a lot of interest. The first page of the Bing search gives you a mixture of commercial companies, blogs, and “ezines” covering the topic – as well as an organization or two. Some highlights include:

    I show up # 2 in search results vs. #1 in “green data center” search results.  It turns out I get 16X more total traffic (not just “green data center”) through google search than bing search.  Search is relevant as I get 63% of my web site traffic through search.  In fact, I get more traffic through search than search.



    Click to read more ...


    Data Center Summit – Social Networking driving Innovation

    KC Mares posted a blog entry on the SVLG Data Center Summit.

    SVLG Data Center Summit a GREAT Success

    Yesterday, October 15th, after a culmination of a year’s worth of work from over 60 people, the SVLG Data Center Energy Efficiency Summit went off smoothly. We had 44 presenters, 24 case case studies presented and about 450 people at the summit. The event was hosted by NetApp in Sunnyvale. Representatives from numerous Silicon Valley elites, start ups, VCs, and solution companies were present. All case studies were presented from data center end-users, showing what they are doing to reduce energy use in their data centers. We had brief sessions about cloud, carbon reductions, notable sessions called the Chill Off 2, in which various cooling technologies were tested with real load in a real data center, also testing the systems at various temperature ranges. Andrew Fanara with EPA gave a quick update of EnergyStar for servers, storage and networking gear. Paul Scheihing with DOE provided an update of the energy efficiency programs and plans for data centers. I had a candid interview with California Energy Commission Commissioner and old friend Jeff Byron about California’s energy policy, zero-energy buildings requirement, renewable portfolio standards, energy efficiency standards for TVs and other consumable devices, etc. It was fun!

    KC goes on to highlight the collaboration and interaction.

    Overall, a wonderful event. It was great to see so many industry friends, old and new, and to make new friends. As the co-chair of the program and summit, it was great to see so many people interacting with each other, beginning collaborations stimulated from the excellent case studies presented, which is what the program is all about: Innovation through collaboration. Together we are benefit when we share with each other, and consequently, we as an industry is then improved. It was wonderful to see every presenter do a fantastic job showing off their wonderful case studies. No vendors showing off their product, instead, everyone sharing information.

    What this event is proving effective for the data center industry is the power of social networking to drive innovation.  Intel’s Eleanor Wynn gave a presentation that discusses this concept.

    Session Title:
    Social Networking and Innovation

    This session will present research on social network topographies.
    Topics include:
    • Can social networks generate innovation?
    • Effective and ineffective network topologies
    • Characteristics of social networks that allow predictions on success
    • Current social media technologies at Intel and the types of additional capabilities that are needed to support ongoing collaborative networks across the globe

    Eleanor Wynn Social Technology Architect and Principal Engineer
    Intel Corporation


    I am talking about social networking, not social media.

    image image


    The organizers and sponsors got their value as people stuck around for the cocktail reception.

    The cocktail reception at the end of the day drew about 200 people that wanted to stay and chat, make friends, and just have fun. So many thanks go out to my committee, which brought the case studies and presentations to us, which includes but not limited to: Bill Tschudi, Bob Hines, Bruce Myatt, Dale Sartor, David Mastrandrea, Deborah Grove, James Bickford, Kelly Aaron, Mukesh Khattar, Patricia Nealon, Ralph Renne, Rosemary Scher, Tersa Tung, and Zen Kishimoto; to Ray Pfeifer, my program co-chair, who brought this program to us last year and so many of the case studies this year again, and his leadership to keep this program about the end-user; to LBNL, CEC, CIEE and PG&E for helping to fund case studies and support the program; to the many sponsors of the summit. And certainly to SVLG for their staff to help make this summit a reality, and most certainly also their lead person, Bob Hines, for his drive and energy. Overall, an excellent day, full of wonderful people, making new and great little discoveries which each other to advance the energy efficiency and this financial success of our businesses, and helping to lead the data center industry to greater success.

    Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it to the event, but I am reaching out to my social network of people who did go to find out comments they had.  And, KC is going to help extract some of the highlights.

    Congratulations KC for hosting a great event.

    Click to read more ...


    Google Releases Q3 2009 PUE Numbers

    Google just updated their PUE measurement page with Q3 2009 numbers.

    Quarterly energy-weighted average PUE:

    Trailing twelve-month energy-weighted avg. PUE: 

    Individual facility minimum quarterly PUE:
    1.15, Data Center B

    Individual facility minimum TTM PUE*:
    1.14, Data Center B

    Individual facility maximum quarterly PUE:
    1.33, Data Center H

    Individual facility maximum TTM PUE*:
    1.21, Data Center A

    * Only facilities with at least twelve months of operation are eligible for Individual Facility TTM PUE reporting

    What is nice is the Google guys have discussed their latest data center J even though it has only one data point.  Data Centers G, H, and I are mentioned as well as not being tuned yet.


    We added one new facility, Data Center J, to our PUE report. Overall, our fleet QoQ results were as expected. The Q3 total quarterly energy-weighted average PUE of 1.22 was higher than the Q2 result of 1.20 due to expected seasonal effects. The trailing twelve-month energy-weighted average PUE remained constant at 1.19. YoY performance improved from facility tuning and continued application of best practices. The quarterly energy-weighted average PUE improved from 1.23 in Q3'08, and the TTM PUE improved from 1.21. New data centers G, H, I, and J reported elevated PUE results as we continue to tune operations to meet steady-state design targets.

    The Google guys know they are going to get critiqued on how good their numbers are, so they described their measurement methods and error analysis.

    Measurement Methodology

    The PUE of a data center is not a static value. Varying server and storage utilization, the fraction of design IT power actually in use, environmental conditions, and other variables strongly influence PUE. Thus, we use multiple on-line power meters in our data centers to characterize power consumption and PUE over time. These meters permit detailed power and energy metering of the cooling infrastructure and IT equipment separately, allowing for a very accurate PUE determination.  Our facilities contain dozens or even hundreds of power meters to ensure that all of the power-consuming elements are accounted for in our PUE calculation, in accordance with the metric definition6. Only the office space energy is excluded from our PUE calculations. Figure 3 shows a simplified power distribution schematic for our data centers.


    Figure 3: Google Data Center Power Distribution Schematic

    Equation for PUE for Our Data Centers


    • EUS1 Energy consumption for type 1 unit substations feeding the cooling plant, lighting, and some network equipment
    • EUS2 Energy consumption for type 2 unit substations feeding servers, network, storage, and CRACs
    • ETX Medium and high voltage transformer losses
    • EHV High voltage cable losses
    • ELV Low voltage cable losses
    • ECRAC CRAC energy consumption
    • EUPS Energy loss at UPSes which feed servers, network, and storage equipment
    • ENet1 Network room energy fed from type 1 unit substitution
    Error Analysis

    To ensure our PUE calculations are accurate, we performed an uncertainty analysis using the root sum of the squares (RSS) method.  Our uncertainty analysis shows that the overall uncertainty in the PUE calculations is less than 2% (99.7% confidence interval).  Our power meters are highly accurate (ANSI C12.20 0.2 compliant) so that measurement errors have a negligible impact on overall PUE uncertainty.  The contribution to the overall uncertainty for each term described above is outlined in the table below.

    Overall Contribution to Uncertainty









    Click to read more ...


    Green Tour of Google Campus - no data centers

    Google has a blog post with a Green Tour of the Google campus.  Note: there data centers mentioned are not in this post, but I did learn today, Oct 15, 2009 is Blog Action Day for Climate Change.

    A green tour of the Google campus

    10/15/2009 05:00:00 AM

    We care about a clean energy future and that's a commitment that starts at home. In honor ofBlog Action Day 2009 and this year's climate change theme, we wanted to walk you through some of the green features of our global headquarters here in sunny Mountain View, California.

    • Getting to work: We've got a shuttle service that brings employees from around the Bay Area to the Googleplex every day. These shuttles are outfitted with wi-fi and fueled by B20 biodiesel. And employees who bike, walk, skip, hop or otherwise self-power to work can earn points that translate into a donation from Google to their charity of choice.
    • Turning on the lights: The rooftops at our headquarters are covered in 9,212 photovoltaic solar panels that produce 1.6 MW of electricity — enough energy to power about 1,000 California homes.

      • Healthy buildings: The facilities at our main campus use sustainable building materials that are environmentally friendly and healthier, such as "cradle-to-cradle" certified products designed to never end up in landfills, fresh air ventilation, daylighting, and whenever possible, PVC- and formaldehyde-free materials.

    Click to read more ...


    Data Center Energy Efficiency Summit


    Today, Oct 15 2009, is the Data Center Energy Efficiency Summit, and I really want to attend, but I made a family commitment that conflicted. 

    Mission Statement: Driving Energy Efficiency – Green Operations – for Data Centers

    Earlier in the week I talked to KC Mares, and we agreed to work together on post event blog entries for those of you who could not make the summit as well.

    Also, I plan on sync’ing with others who were able to attend  to get their perspective.

    i know I’ll probably regret not making the event as I write blog posts, but family comes before work.

    Click to read more ...