GM Green's its data center

I’ve been staring at these browser tabs and have been meaning to post on GM’s green data center efforts.

Here is the official GM press release.  They focused on LEED.

GM’s LEED Gold Data Center Drives IT Efficiency

Fri, Sep 13 2013

WARREN, Mich. – A flywheel for battery-free backup power and in-row cooling that reduces the need for electricity contribute to a 70 percent reduction in energy use at General Motors’ world-class Enterprise Data Center, which has earned Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, program.

Fewer than 5 percent of data centers in the U.S. achieve LEED certification, according to the building council. GM’s data hub on its Technical Center campus in this Detroit suburb is the company’s fifth LEED-certified facility and second brownfield project.

Arstechnica does a much better job of telling a story.

Waterfalls and flywheels: General Motors’ new hyper-green data center

Ars gets a look inside at the first GM-owned data center in nearly 20 years.

A look down the completed "data hall" of GM's Warren Enterprise Data Center. With 2,500 virtual servers up and running, the center is at a tiny fraction of its full capacity.
General Motors

WARREN, Michigan—General Motors has gone through a major transformation since emerging from bankruptcy three years ago.  Now cashflow-positive, the company is in the midst of a different transformation—a three-year effort to reclaims its own IT after 20 years of outsourcing.

Here are few more details.

Building a cloud, under one roof

Enlarge/ GM's IT Operations and Command Center, where all of GM's IT infrastructure—including its partner network, OnStar systems, and design and engineering systems—is monitored and controlled.

The first step in that transformation, Liedel said, was converting everyone running its IT operations to GM employees. Next came centralizing control over the company's widely-scattered IT assets.

So far, three of the company's 23 legacy data centers have been rolled into the new Warren data center. That's eliminated a significant chunk of the company's wide-area network costs. "We have 8,000 engineers at (Vehicle Engineering Center) here," Liedel said. And those engineers are pushing around big chunks of data—the "math" for computer-aided design, computer aided manufacturing, and a wide range of high-performance computing simulations

And. GM chose flywheels.

Almost no batteries required

One of the Warren Enterprise Data Center's two diesel generators.

Aside from its energy efficiency, GM's Warren Data Center picks up green cred in the way it handles its emergency power. Instead of using an array of lead-acid batteries to provide current in the event of an interruption of power, the data center is equipped with uninterruptible power supplies from Piller that use 15,000 pound flywheels spinning at 3,300 revolutions per minute.