Greener data centers

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Data center power consumption and cooling costs were subjects of a panel discussion today at the Fose Conference and Expostion in Washington. Alexandra Sullivan of the Environmental Protection Agency spoke on the agency's nine-year-old Energy Star Program, which is designed to help protect the environment by promoting energy efficiency in electronics and appliances.

The program to date has provided guidelines for building more energy-efficient consumer products and commercial buildings, and is being extended to provide similar guidelines and rating criteria for data centers. The agency intends to provide a method to rate data centers' energy efficiency by 2010.

Richard Reeves of the Treasury Department reviewed the results of the department's platform refresh and server consolidation project. In addition to modernizing its infrastructure, Treasury's project also aimed to reduce the number of servers and devices, which the department was able to do, he said. An added benefit of the project was a reduction in power, cooling and facility costs.

'We believe we reduced our power consumption by about 30 percent,, Reeves said. 'Our project provided the benefits of reducing architectural complexity, operational costs and facility costs.'

Additionally, the green approach allowed Treasury to reduce operating costs by lowering the costs of hardware, software licenses and data center facilities. Reeves said the department estimates its disaster recovery facilities were able to reduce annual operating costs by $200,000.

FOSE is run by the 1105 Government Information Group, which also owns Government Computer News.

About the Author

Dan Campbell is a freelance writer with Government Computer News and the president of Millennia Systems Inc.

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