Alger addresses the problem of an ever increasing cost of running a data center. Unappreciated by most users of the Internet, this increase is a direct result of its popularity. The key concept of the book is to have several data center efficiency metrics. The most important is, of course, power consumption. This should [must] be minimised. Power turns out to be the main cost of most centers. Another factor to minimise is the amount of carbon dioxide that is produced. However the latter is hard to measure directly, whereas the power bill is explicit each month. While laudable it is to look at carbon dioxide, in practical terms, the reader should perhaps focus on power consumption.
The text also has a nice summary of different national green certifications. Several countries have put serious effort into these, and the location of your data center should direct you first to its national certification as something to adhere to.
Given that power should be minimised, how? Many tips are furnished. The simplest perhaps is to have a 'cool roof'. One that is highly reflective. In hot weather, this reduces directly the amount of solar heat absorbed by the center. Another good idea is to look at landscaping. If possible, try to have trees that shade buildings and parking lots.
Inside the center, attention should be paid to improved internal cooling designs. Also, try using fibre instead of copper to transmit signals between the computers. Fibre has much greater bandwidth than copper, and these days it is often cheaper to produce. Another saving with fibre is that a fibre bundle is thinner than a copper cable bundle that would carry the same amount of traffic. So there is less airflow obstruction.
However, the biggest power saving could be to move to virtualisation. It can greatly improve the usage of your existing machines, and so reduce the need to keep buying more computers.
on March 23, 2011
It was surprising to me to realize just how 'non-green' a data center is. Of course I knew about power consumption, there is this little piece of paper that comes every month (well, actually it's an e-bill now) telling me how much it cost to provide that power. What I didn't realize, indeed never had thought about was the other 'non-green' aspects.
For instance in the chapter on cabling the author points out that producing the copper for cables requires that about 500 times the weight of the copper in the form of copper ore, oil to make the plastic insulators, energy, water, and so on.
Then there's the refrigerants and fire suppressants that are made up of fairly nasty things for the environment. Also, if you have batteries in UPS systems. And there's paper, we were all going to a paperless world -- right!
Finally there's the hardware itself. Lots of things in it like lead, gold, mercury. And these things have a definite life before getting replaced with newer, faster, cheaper gear.
There's is nothing in this book that you couldn't find out elsewhere if you took the time to research all of these areas. But here in one small, easily read book Mr. Alger has laid out the whole problem and pointed to solutions. It will save you an awful lot of time, and quite possibly a lot of money.
on February 7, 2011
Lays potato chips may have introduced its best-known slogan "betcha you can't eat just one", but I never imagined it could apply to the pages contained in this book. It really is that good.
I especially found the chapters on "Choosing Green Gear" and "Greening Your Data Center Through Consolidation, Virtualization and Automation" informative and digestible. Saved me hours upon hours of having to find this information on my own.
There are 10 chapters, each bite-sized with excellent summaries towards the end.
Chapters can be read in any order. I began with the chapters mentioned above only because those peaked my interest.
Whether you're a business executive, IT manager, facilities personnel, or networking professional like myself who's simply interested in learning more about the challenges, social impact and opportunities of increasing a company's bottom line while leaving more resources to future generations, Alger's GROW A GREENER DATA CENTER is an indispensable, timely, highly readable, balanced and informative guide offering strategies to reduce one's carbon footprint in an ever growing age of digital consumption that doesn't appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
on July 10, 2011
This book has a lot of good information. It explores most of Data Center efficiency formulas and give very good information about how to build and operate a DC.
on March 13, 2014
This book has a lot of very useful information about greening data centers, and explains well. I am glad I bought it.
on December 19, 2009
GROW A GREENER DATA CENTER provides a fine guide to building an energy-efficient IT infrastructure that costs less money to run and uses fewer resources. Strategies for creating the project begin with site selection and move into 'greening' strategies for each phase of a new data center project, making this a pick not just for computer collections, but for college-level architectural and environmental libraries.
on January 17, 2015
A must read for any IT hardware site support person.
on September 24, 2009
This book is well structured and contains timely and invaluable information on the issue of greening data centers. Each chapter contains appropriate and ready-to-apply information. For example, the power section covers IT gears impacts, power-GHG emission relationships, renewable energies, PDU/UPS efficiency, generators, lighting, and overhead/underneath access. In addition, the cooling section discusses heat recovery/reuse, economizer, VFD, air/water, CFD, and sealing gaps. I was pleasantly surprised that the IT coverage was not skimpy and that the good discussion of consolidation/virtualization covered all three IT gears, namely, server, storage, and network. Chapter 9 alone is good material for discussing what makes for state-of-the-art IT in a data center.