GSA, Energy Publish Guide to Increase Data Center Energy-Efficiency
By Marie-Alice Denis
General Services Administration
WASHINGTON, April 15, 2011 – GSA, with collaboration with the Department of Energy, has released a guide to help decision-makers select more energy-efficient and less-costly data centers.
Studies show that data centers, automated data processing spaces used to store computer systems and their components, are both costly and contribute greatly to the carbon footprint.
The publication "Modular/Container Data Center Procurement Guide: Optimizing for Energy Efficiency and Quick Deployment," a 42-page guide, offers insight on the differences between data centers, what to consider, and specifications to be mindful of when purchasing data center units and cooling technologies, and it includes comparative studies on energy-efficiency. It recommends the use of second-generation modular data centers whose features make chilled water supplies, used to cool the units, unnecessary. As a result, these types of data centers have more energy savings, greater performance, and are less expensive than older models.
Simple steps such as purchasing second-generation data centers can further improve GSA’s zero environmental footprint goal of improving sustainability, excelling at green initiatives, and boosting federal building performance.
Additionally, the Office of Management and Budget and GSA are looking at cloud computing as a major factor in reducing the environmental footprint of technology and help achieve important sustainability goals. Effective use of cloud computing is an integral part of the government's strategy to reduce the need for multiple data centers and the energy they consume. Through cloud computing, the government can do so without having to maintain expensive, independent, and often needlessly redundant brick-and-mortar data centers.
Additionally GSA and DOE also jointly published, a “Quick Start Guide to Increase Data Center Energy Efficiency.” Both the Quick Start and Modular Data Center guides are keys to the efficiency and effectiveness of the closure and/or consolidation of data centers outlined by the Office of Management and Budget and GSA.