Sun launches eco-data center initiative

In another sign that green computing is catching on, Sun Microsystems today unveiled a suite of programs and services that will help information technology managers construct more energy-efficient data centers and implement state-of-the art power-saving technologies.

Sun is offering three Eco Ready Kits ' the Eco Assessment Kit, the Eco Optimization Kit and the Eco Virtualization Kit ' designed to assist users in creating energy-efficient data centers.

The Assessment Kit provides a methodical approach to analyzing data center energy efficiency, using a combination of assessment services for systems, storage and data center infrastructure.

The Optimization Kit helps users consolidate, refresh and recycle their hardware infrastructure while taking advantage of special offers on Sun systems, storage and services.

The Virtualization Kit helps users to better utilize data center resources. At the core of the offering is the Sun Solaris 10 operating system, including Solaris Containers, which let IT managers securely run multiple software on a single system to consolidate applications onto fewer servers, Sun officials said.

Sun also unveiled three new active data centers in Santa Clara, Calif., Blackwater, United Kingdom, and Bangalore, India, that were built using innovative designs and next-generation energy efficient systems, power and cooling.

Sun officials estimate that the company's data center efforts can save the planet nearly 4,100 tons of carbon dioxide per year and trim 1 percent from Sun's total carbon footprint. The data centers were put into operation between January and June. The Santa Clara data center is the largest at 76,000 square feet. Efforts to save energy at that facility began with a three-month hardware consolidation and refresh project that increased computing power by more than 450 percent and is expected to save $1.1 million in energy costs a year, according to the company.

Phase two involved designing the Santa Clara space and installing new hardware, they added. All the data centers run on Sun's line of energy-efficient products, including Sun Fire T1000/T2000 servers, Sun's x64 servers and Solaris OS.

Energy consumption by IT hardware is a concern in both government and industry, especially as demand for data processing and storage continues to grow. Earlier this month, the Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star Program released a report to Congress that assesses opportunities for improving energy efficiency in government and commercial computer servers and data centers.

Data centers consumed about 61 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) in 2006 ' roughly 1.5 percent of total U.S. electricity consumption, or about $4.5 billion in electricity costs, according to the report. Assuming current trends continue, by 2011 national energy consumption by servers and data centers is expected to nearly double.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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