Clients turning to green data centers for social, cost-based reasons - HP

Monday, November 28, 2011

Energy-saving initiatives to establish new data centers and improve existing facilities are increasing in Latin America, but the reason behind this growth varies according to customers' needs, HP's (NYSE: HPQ) critical facilities portfolio manager for Latin America, David Eisenband, told BNamericas.

The large number of applications that companies currently handle has resulted in increased energy consumption, and most data center have not been updated or expanded to provide the capacity required in this scenario.

In searching for solutions to this problem, some companies have found an answer in green technologies and energy-saving initiatives.

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"Some clients have joined the green data center trend with a more social focus. For example, we have a LEED-certified [Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design] green data center," Eisenband said.

"Others are interested in the green concept as a way to save costs through energy savings, and there are also clients mainly focused on availability. So it all depends on the client."

But in general, companies do not seem to be trying to achieve certification, particularly in Latin America, according to Eisenband. Though some are working in this area, even with companies at the forefront, their goal is not to obtain certification. "The purpose is to save energy, but without affecting the availability of the data center," he said.

The way to go is determined after assessing the conditions, capacity and requirements of a client's data center. That process includes concepts such as a business impact analysis, a business continuity plan to recover after a disaster, the availability or tier level, and downtime costs.

Regarding energy saving, the analysis process now includes several concepts such as power usage effectiveness (PUE), created in 2004 by non-profit organization The Green Grid, at which HP belongs to the board.

"So now you can measure the effective use of energy in the data center. The PUE is a ratio of the total amount of power used by the data center to the power delivered to IT equipment," the executive said.

From this concept, some others have emerged, he added, such as carbon usage effectiveness (CUE), energy reuse effectiveness (ERE) and water usage effectiveness (WUE).

All these green concepts are included in the process of updating or, if required, building a data center. Some may become more relevant than others, according to clients' particular needs or the country where the data center is established, Eisenband said.