Grow a Greener Data Center

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-08-17
  • Publisher: Cisco Press
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The practical, start-to-finish guide to 'greening' any data center -- boosting productivity, energy efficiency, and ROI- Step-by-step coverage of greening each major data center technology, including physical construction, power, cooling, servers, and equipment consolidation and virtualization.- Presents IT and facilities design strategies that can save hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in energy costs.- Introduces incentive programs that can help businesses pay for green initiatives. Data centers have historically had a huge, negative environmental impact -- consuming massive amounts of power, emitting pollutants, and discarding huge amounts of machine waste. Companies are increasingly objecting to the financial and public relations costs they are paying for environmentally insensitive data centers. Fortunately, it's now both possible and cost-effective to run a 'green data center.' 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 that can help any company improve the energy efficiency and 'eco-friendliness' of their IT facilities. He walks step-by-step through 'greening' physical construction, power, cooling, and servers; then covers equipment consolidation, virtualization, and much more. Along the way, Alger also identifies available utility and government incentive programs. In many environments, Alger's techniques can save hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in energy costs alone. Beyond the data center, Alger identifies green business practices extending to all server environments, including cost-effective water and conservation, recycling, and e-waste management. For those building new data centers, he even offers specific guidance on limiting environmental impact through siting, building materials, landscaping, and job-site construction practices.

Author Biography

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.


Table of Contents

    Introduction xvii

Chapter 1 Going Green in the Data Center 1

    Defining Green 1

    The Reasons to Go Green 2

        Growing Power Demand, Shrinking Availability 2

        Monetary Benefits 5

        Capacity Gains 9

        Increasing Regulation 10

        Recent Government Green Commitments 10

        Multicountry Green Commitments 11

        Technology Advances 14

        Public Perception 15

    If You Don’t Own Your Data Centers 18

    Resistance to Green 20

    Green Incentive Programs 22

        Utility Companies 22

        Government Programs 24

    Who Is Going Green 25

        Green from the Start 26

        Greenest Company in the World 26

        Most Socially Responsible 26

        Financial Institutions 27

        Citigroup 28

        HSBC Group 29

        Technology Companies 29

        Cisco 29

        Hewlett-Packard Company 30

        IBM 31

        Retailers 31

        The Home Depot 32

        Wal-Mart 32

Chapter 2 Measuring Green Data Centers 35

    Why Measure in the Data Center 35

    What to Measure in the Data Center 36

        Energy Usage 36

        Carbon Footprint 37

        Other Data Center Elements 39

    Environmental Building Assessment Systems 39

        Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method

        (BREEAM) 41

        Green Globes 42

        Haute Qualité Environmentale (HQE) 43

        Hong Kong Building Environmental Assessment Method (HK-BEAM) 44

        Ecology, Energy Saving, Waste Reduction, and Health (EEWH) 45

        Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) 46

        National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) 48

        Comprehensive Assessment System for Building Environmental Efficiency

        (CASBEE) 49

        Green Star 50

        Green Mark 51

        Comprehensive Environmental Performance Assessment Scheme (CEPAS) 51

        German Sustainable Building Certificate 52

        Summary of Environmental Building Assessment Systems 53

    Organizations Influencing Green Data Center Metrics 56

        The European Commission 56

        The Green Grid 57

        Uptime Institute 57

        The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 58

    Data Center Green Metrics 59

        Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) 59

        Data Center Infrastructure Efficiency (DCIE) 60

        Compute Power Efficiency (CPE) 63

        Technology Carbon Efficiency (TCE) 64

        Corporate Average Data Center Efficiency (CADE) 65

        Data Center Productivity (DCP) 68

    Usage of Metrics 68

Chapter 3 Green Design and Build Strategies 71

    Siting the Data Center 71

    Building Design and Material Selection 73

        Avoiding the Landfill 73

        Embodied Energy and Emissions 76

        Maintaining Air Quality 78

        Choosing Efficient Fixtures and Appliances 80

    Data Center Configuration 82

        Building Exterior 82

    Landscaping 85

    Strategies for a Greener Construction Site 89

    Building Commissioning 90

    Retrofitting an Existing Data Center 91

Chapter 4 Powering Your Way to a Greener Data Center 93

    How a Data Center Consumes Energy 93

    The Carbon Factor 95

    Alternative Energy Sources 101

        Biofuels 102

        Fuel Cells 102

        Hydropower 105

        Hydroelectric Dams 105

        Tidal Power 106

        Wave Power 107

        Solar 107

        Wind 108

    Designing a Data Center Power System for Maximum Efficiency 109

        Direct Current Versus Alternating Current 109

        Power Distribution Units 112

        Uninterruptible Power Sources 114

        Generators 116

        Lighting 118

        Power Monitoring 119

    Overhead Versus Under-Floor Distribution 119

Chapter 5 Cooling Your Way to a Greener Data Center 123

    Setting Data Center Temperatures 123

    Heat Recovery and Reuse 127

        Using Waste Heat from the Data Center 127

        Using Waste Heat for the Data Center 129

    Mechanical System Opportunities for Efficiency 129

        Economizers 130

        Heat Wheel 132

        Geothermal Cooling 132

        Minimizing Partial Loads 133

        Variable Frequency Drives 135

        Cooling Tower Water 137

    Hosting Environment Opportunities for Efficiency 138

        Air- Versus Liquid-Based Cooling 139

        Optimizing Airflow 141

        Isolating Hot and Cold Airflow 141

        Plenum 143

        Sealing Unwanted Gaps 145

        Cabinet Solutions 146

        Mapping and Managing Hot Spots 146

        Equipment Choices and Distribution 147

        Cooling Distribution 148

Chapter 6 Cabling Your Way to a Greener Data Center 151

    Cabling Choices 151

        Manufacturing Considerations 152

        Form Factor 153

        Usable Lifespan 153

        Power Consumption 154

    Streamlining Cabling 157

        Structured Cabling 157

        Patch Cords 164

Chapter 7 Refrigerants and Fire Suppressants 169

    Data Centers and the Ozone Layer 169

    Evolution of Refrigerants 170

    Evolution of Fire Suppressants 171

    Greener Approaches to Refrigerants 175

    Greener Fire Suppression Options 176

    Changing Environmental Regulations 177

    Fire in the Data Center 178

Chapter 8 Choosing Greener Gear 183

    Environmental Impact of IT Hardware 183

    Hardware Energy Efficiency Targets 185

        Energy Star Specifications 185

        Climate Savers Computing Initiative 187

    Efficiency Metrics for Hardware 189

        Energy Consumption Rating (ECR) 189

        Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) 190

        Space, Watts, and Performance (SWaP) 190

    Hardware Utilization 191

    Beyond Energy Consumption and Utilization 192

    How Budget Process Impacts Hardware Choices 194

    Idling Servers 196

    Eliminating Less Efficient Hardware 197

Chapter 9 Greening Your Data Center Through Consolidation, Virtualization, and

Automation 201

    Vision: The Service-Oriented Data Center 201

        From Dedicated to Service-Oriented: a Paradigm Shift 203

        Optimization Opportunities 208

    Consolidation and Standardization 210

        Less Is More 211

        Consolidation Areas 214

        Network 214

        Compute Resources 218

        Storage 220

        Application and Database 224

        Facilities 225

        Additional Benefits and Challenges 226

    Virtualization 227

        Abstraction Layer 228

        Virtualization Areas 229

        Network Virtualization 229

        Compute Resource Virtualization 231

        Storage Virtualization 234

        Application and Database Virtualization 238

        Facilities Virtualization 239

        Additional Benefits and Challenges 240

    Integrated Automation 241

        Dynamic Cooling 242

        Idling Servers 242

        Follow-the-Moon 243

    Alternative Data Center Operating Models 243

        Content and Application Delivery Networks 243

        Everything-as-a-Service 244

        Cloud Computing 244

Chapter 10 Greening Other Business Practices 247

    Data-Center Consumables 247

    E-Waste 248

    Non-Data Center Consumables 249

    Power Efficiency Outside the Data Center 250

    Alternative Transportation 252

Appendix Sources of Data Center Green Information 255

Glossary 263

TOC, 9781587058134, 7.24.09


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