Understanding Green Data Center Design
Data center design is an integral part of almost any tech company these days, but these centers require considerable energy to maintain. This has led many technology businesses to shift to a more environmentally sustainable approach. As the name implies, a green data center is a computing facility entirely built, managed and operated in the most environmentally friendly way possible. In addition to environmental benefits, many major tech companies are building green data centers for greater cost-efficiency. Tech giants like Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and Google have all invested in green data center design. As Google explains in its guide to improving data center efficiency, “Whether you’re running a small or large data center, you can apply several simple design choices to improve the efficiency of your facility, reduce costs, and reduce your impact on the environment.”
What makes a green data center?The efficiency of a data center is measured in an industry standard ratio called Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE). This is the ratio of total amount of energy used by the data center facility to the energy delivered to actual computing equipment. Truly green data centers are built from the ground up in an environmentally friendly facility with PUE in mind. This allows for infrastructure that provides maximum efficiency with minimal power consumption. In addition to these benefits, renewable energy has become more and more attainable. Solar energy is harnessed with solar panels, wind energy with windmills, and even geothermal and hydroelectric energy are being collected by some in the industry.
What can your business do to build a green data center?Building any data center is a complex process that requires extensive planning and green data center design is no different. Consider these four tips to designing a green data center:
- Begin by measuring the PUE of your center and learning more from The Green Grid.
- Manage your air circulation to ensure hot air is replaced with cooler air to keep equipment from overheating.
- Before building your data center, consider the geographical location and assess the natural energy options available to you. Hot and sunny climates work well when solar tracking but cooling is an obstacle. Being in a cold weather climate is beneficial because cold air can be harnessed and prevent equipment from overheating.
- Finally, optimize the distribution of power throughout your data center. As specialists in structured cabling systems, we know this is the most common point of failure in any data center design.