Creating an Eco-friendly Datacenter Cont'd

by David Tanguay - Date: 2008-05-22 - Word Count: 490 Share This!

In the last post we focused on what a datacenter was and the reasons for trying to make it as eco-friendly as possible. We learned 5 tips in making your datacenter "greener." Today, we will continue with's remaining steps to help you have the most environmentally friendly datacenter.

6. Use EnergyStar-rated appliances. Although the EPA hasn't yet released Energy Star standards for data servers, you can purchase other appliances, such as cooling systems, that do meet current standards. Keep an eye on the industry -- new star ratings are due for desktop computers in July, and the EPA may also enforce star ratings for data center appliances sometime in the next year.

7. Donate or recycle legacy servers. Archaic systems are less efficient than new ones, so you can save money by buying new systems and decommissioning old ones. However, because servers contain huge amount of toxic waste, never throw a machine in the trash. Many nonprofit or educational organizations can make use of old servers. There are also many vendors who handle computer equipment recycling, who can strip the machines of useful parts and properly dispose of the toxic remains.

8. Look outside the datacenter. Your company can cut costs outside its server rooms, for example by using earth-friendly construction materials such as low-emission carpets and paints and non-toxic insulation; creating skylights, windows and other natural lighting sources; and by landscaping with native and drought-tolerant plants that require less water consumption and support the local ecosystem.

9. Research alternative power sources. The best way to stay clean is to find alternative energy that works for you. Photovoltaic systems are popular -- solar panels on your roof are a simple step and will reduce your dependence on the power grid. Other options include wind energy, heat pumps, and evaporative cooling can lower your cost and significantly reduce your company's environmental footprint.

10. Get your management involved.
To fully embrace changes in the datacenter, you need to get the buy-in from your upper management. You can get them fired up about being an eco-friendly company by brainstorming earth-friendly ideas that will help everyone in the company, such as using hybrid or electric company vehicles or starting a commuter shuttle for your employees. Once they're interested, you can easily bring up the green question whenever you discuss the growth of your data center.

The Green Grid is a group of companies who are trying to do all they can to make their datacenters greener. The Green Grid is made up of company heads from AMD, APC, Dell, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Rackable Systems, SprayCool, Sun Microsystems, and VMware. According to The Green Grid website, they are "a global consortium dedicated to advancing energy efficiency in data centers and business computing ecosystems."

They are focused on "defining meaningful, user-centric models and metrics; developing standards, measurement methods, processes and new technologies to improve data center performance against the defined metrics; and promoting the adoption of energy efficient standards, processes, measurements and technologies."

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David Tanguay is dedicated to providing research, reviews & helpful information to consumers and businesses. For more information related to Green Energy and Biofuels please visit

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