Efficient Data Center Summit 2009

On April 1, 2009, we hosted leaders of the IT industry to discuss best practices for improving data center efficiency. We spent the day discussing how to significantly reduce resource use while meeting service requirements. Not only is saving electricity and water good for the environment—it also makes good business sense. Being greener reduces operating costs and keeps our industry competitive.

For those who could not attend in person, we've published slide decks and videos of the entire day here:

1: Green Grid, Google PUE, Whats next 2: Best practices, data center tour, Q&A 3: Sustainability, water management

Standards from The Green Grid

Presenter: John Tuccillo, The Green Grid

Summary: The Green Grid's roadmap to achieving balance for data center energy efficiency through metrics, tools, training, and collaboration.

Insights Into Google's PUE

Presenters: Chris Malone & Ben Jai, Google

Summary: Google's data centers have reduced overhead energy use by more than 80% when compared to typical facilities. The reductions came primarily through the rigorous application of data center best practices, a machine-level UPS, and an ongoing process to improve our energy efficiency performance. Appropriate metrics like PUE coupled with accurate measurements and frequent reporting are necessary to properly optimize energy use in a data center.

Best Practices

Presenter: James Hamilton, Amazon Web Services

Summary: Power Usage Effectiveness in the 1.35 range are possible and attainable without substantial complexity and without innovation. Good solid design, using current techniques, with careful execution is sufficient to achieve this level of efficiency.

Google Data Center Video Tour

Presenter: Jimmy Clidaras, Google

Summary: A video tour of Google's high-efficiency power distribution architecture and cooling systems, traced from the equipment yard to the container. Technological improvements such as Google's high-efficiency UPS are shown in a production environment, as well as an explanation of close-coupled cooling, tight air flow management, and temperature control.

Best Practices Q&A

Moderator: Luiz Barroso, Google

Panelist: Ken Brill, Uptime Institute, James Hamilton Amazon Web Services, Olivier Sanche, eBay, Bill Tschudi, LBNL

Summary: A discussion from a panel of experts, fielding on data center efficiency best practices, the role of metrics and measurements, and the economics of energy efficiency efforts.

You can watch this session in video #2 above, starting at 1:37:00

Sustainable Data Centers

Presenter: Bill Weihl, Google

Summary: Energy usage and climate change are top-of-mind for many - and energy efficiency is clearly important for both the environment and the bottom line. But other issues affect the sustainability of operations. All resources - not just energy - need to be used responsibly to ensure the sustainability of the planet and the sustained growth of a corporation. Doing this well requires managing usage across the entire life cycle of a company's products and services, including upstream and downstream supply chains. Google has paid particular attention to e-waste: 100% of the servers we retire are either reused or recycled, not incinerated or dumped in landfills.

Data Center Water Management

Presenter: Joe Kava, Google

Summary: The increasing scarcity of fresh water resources has become a concern for business continuity of data center operations. Many forecast fresh water to be the next major constraint the data center community will be forced to address. Currently two of Google's data centers are 100% self-sufficient for process cooling water by utilizing treated waste water. By the end of 2010, we expect to be 80% self-sufficient for our data center water consumption. The presentation outlines out "total cost of ownership" approach & risk mitigation strategy that guided our decision to act now on deploying a sustainable water policy.