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Ice to the (Data Center's) Rescue

The fastest to way to cut a data center electric bill is to pull the plug. Of course that would have the CEO screaming more than Rex Ryan after another Mark Sanchez completion -- to the other team!

You can't just shut your data center down unless your Chapter 7 says you can. But you can move apps from your data center to the cloud, shifting the energy load to the service provider.

These service providers are acutely interested in highly efficient, green data centers. There are all kinds of techniques they use: efficient cabling, directing cooling to only that which is hot, and virtualizing everything to reduce the number of devices that need cooling.

The biggest advantage to cloud providers is not having to locate data centers near or in headquarters and other corporate facilities. Already this decoupling has put data centers in cooler cellars, deep dark caves and cold climates where data center managers simply open the windows (yes, the air passes through a filter but it is outside air, not A/C) to cool the equipment.

Tate Cantrell, CTO for Verne Global, is keen in Iceland -- Keflavik, Iceland specifically -- for data center location. And it's not the cool climate so much as how Iceland generates power, Cantrell explains in an interview with Enterprise Systems Journal.

Iceland has a modern grid and are aggressive in pursuing renewable energy such as geothermal and hydro.

An efficient service provider data center located in an energy-efficient country should provide low-cost services and be good for the environment to boot. "Cloud providers have the ability to centralize and innovate in a way that improves efficiency on a scale that an individual company may not have the resources to do on their own. Cloud providers can locate their data centers where power grids are most robust in terms of capacity, where climates cater to free-cooling, and where sources of energy are not solely dependent upon coal," says Cantrell.

Posted by Doug Barney on 10/23/2012 at 12:47 PM


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