Archive for the ‘The green cloud’ Category

Facebook to build server farm on edge of Arctic Circle

26 October 2011 – Facebook is to build a multi-million ‘mini town’ on the edge of the Arctic circle to house all its computer servers, which would us as much electricity as a town of 50,000 people.  The enormous server farm facility in Luleå, northern Sweden, to be announced officially on Thursday morning, is the first time that the social networking giant has chosen to locate a server farm outside the US.   “The climate will allow them to just use only air for cooling the servers,” said Mats Engman, chief executive of the Aurorum Science Park, which is leading the push to turn the city into a ‘Node Pole’, luring in other international computing giants.  “If you take the statistics, the temperature has not been above 30C [86F] for more than 24 hours since 1961. If you take the average temperature, it’s around 2C [35.6F].”   Luleå is situated at the northern tip of the Baltic Sea, just over 62 miles South of the Arctic Circle.  Taking advantage of the rock bottom temperatures, Facebook plans to build three giant server halls … Read more

Apple Pumps Sunlight Into iCloud Data Center

26 October 2011 – Behind Apple’s new cloud, there’s sunlight.   Apple’s massive new data center in Maiden, North Carolina drives the company’s sparkling new iCloud service, and according to a report from the Charlotte Observer, sunlight will provide some of the considerable power needed to run the facility.  The company is building a solar power plant across the street from the data center, the newspaper said, citing county permits that allow the company to regrade 171 acres in preparation for building a solar farm.  Apple didn’t respond to a request for comment. But the investment in renewable energy clearly marks a shift for the company, which has taken heat from environmental groups for its energy practices. The company has lagged behind other cloud players, most notably Google, in going green.

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More details on the new, green datacenter in Iceland

14 October 2011 – Last week, we featured articles announcing the world’s first zero emissions data center, which is slated for construction in Iceland.  Verne Global and Datapipe are both key players in the deal.  Verne Global is a 100% carbon neutral owner and operator of data centers.  Datapipe is a provider of managed services and infrastructure for mission critical IT and cloud computing.  Beth Bacheldor from IT World recently interviewed representatives from both firms to take a closer look at the planned center from an environmental perspective.

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Iceland will be home to the world’s first zero emissions data center

8 October 2011 – The data center, manufactured by Colt Modular Data Centres of the United Kingdom for Verne Global, will include 37 modules capable of storing  500m2 of information slated for shipment to Keflavik, Iceland in October. Gigaom reports that the facility will be powered entirely by geothermal and hydroelectric power, and will be fully operational within four months.

The center is the result of a partnership between the two companies: Colt built and will assemble the containers and foundation infrastructure–power supplies and cabling; HVAC; security and monitoring systems; lighting and flooring for the facility, while Verne will supply the computing resources and fiberoptics. The facility was designed to take advantage of Iceland’s chilly climate with free cooling 365 days a year.

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Google to tap chilly Ireland for green data center

3 October 2011 — Google continues to favor countries with cold climates for the construction of new data centers, which can dramatically reduce the energy consumption of the facility. The latest country is Ireland, and Google says it plans to build an 11-acre data center in Dublin, Ireland, that will utilize Ireland’s naturally chilly climate to provide outside air for cooling. Google bought an existing building and land and is retrofitting the facility.

Internet companies like Google are increasingly looking to reduce the need for power-hungry air conditioning units in data centers, which have been traditionally used to keep servers and IT systems in the data centers cool. But as companies build more and more data centers, they are realizing the need to reduce the overall energy consumption footprint, and building cooling systems that tap into the natural climate are becoming more and more popular.

The big requirement for using outside cooling is, of course, the temperature of the outside air. That’s why Google has turned to both Finland, and now Ireland, for the construction of its latest data centers. … Read more

The environmental benefits of cloud computing

3 October 2011 – Cloud adoption is helping to reduce energy consumption by eliminating the need for enterprises to each have their own power-hungry data centers.  Two recent industry-funded studies make the case for cloud as energy-saver:

A report issued this summer by the Carbon Disclosure Project, supported by AT&T, finds that a company that adopts cloud computing can reduce its energy consumption, lower its carbon emissions and decrease its capital expenditure on IT resources while improving operational efficiency. By 2020, the group estimates, large US companies that use cloud computing can achieve annual energy savings of $12.3 billion and annual carbon reductions equivalent to 200 million barrels of oil.

In another study released at the end of last year, Accenture, Microsoft and WSP Environment and Energy estimated that that a 100-person company with applications deployed in the cloud can reduce energy consumption and emissions by more than 90 percent.

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Can cloud computing cut energy use?

2 October 2011 – According to the Colorado based firm Pike Research, the ever increasing move of businesses storing information on cloud computing systems has lead to a surge in outsourcing data centers, which could help lower energy costs by almost one-third over the next decade.  An analyst from the report says that revenue from data centers will swell to a compound annual growth rate of 29%, and that new investments will continue to spur higher efficiency.

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How clean is your cloud, really?

20 September 2011 —  Clean is as clean does when it comes to cloud computing and green data centers. Much has been written about how cloud computing can boost energy efficiency as data centers move off of old power-hungry gear and into new greener sites.

But energy efficiency is just one measure of cleantech and there’s now increasing scrutiny of other green aspects, particularly with the cloudification of data centers.

What’s needed is a more holistic view of the environmental impact of data centers moving to the cloud, said Eric Woods, senior analyst with Pike Research, Boulder, Colo. Pike has predicted that the migration of IT to the cloud could cut energy consumption by nearly one-third by 2020.

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Data Centers’ Power Use Less Than Was Expected

31 July 2011 —   Data centers’ unquenchable thirst for electricity has been slaked by the global recession and by a combination of new power-saving technologies, according to an independent report on data center power use from 2005 to 2010.

A study shows that, partly because of the 2008 recession, power consumption by data centers hasn’t grown at expected rates.  The study suggests that Google’s centers are more efficient than most.  The report, by Jonathan G. Koomey, a consulting professor in the civil and environmental engineering department at Stanford University, found that the actual number of computer servers declined significantly compared to 2010 forecasts because of this lowered demand for computing and because of the financial crisis of 2008 and the emergence of technologies like more efficient computer chips and computer server virtualization, which allows fewer servers to run more programs.

The slowing of growth in consumption contradicts a 2007 forecast by the Environmental Protection Agency that the explosive expansion of the Internet and the computerization of society would lead to a doubling of power consumed by data centers from 2005 … Read more

Cloud computing is a lot of hot air (and it can heat your house)

26 July 2011 – There’s an intriguing paper published by Microsoft in which the authors argue that it could be possible to send servers used in cloud computing data centres to houses and office buildings and use them as a primary heat source.

The Data Furnace: Heating Up With Cloud Computing paper believes that the problem of heat generation in data centres can be turned into an advantage with servers placed into buildings to provide low latency cloud computing for offices or residents. The authors suggest this approach improves quality of service by moving storage and computation closer to the consumer, enhances energy efficiency and eradicates the cost of cooling the servers by reusing their heat.

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