One irony of the recession’s cost-cutting and economizing is the money required to do it – memos explaining new policies, meetings and training for staff, and other expenses maybe even the business intelligence reports and analytics to see if you’re actually saving money. Bruce Myatt hits the nail on the head in a column for Mission Critical magazine.
He points out some of the ways data centers are using business intelligence and how a simple redesign of facilities can cut down on heating/cooling. Temperatures in a data center can vary by 20 degrees – and savvy companies are using BI to study their own use and operating patterns while using low-tech solutions like open windows to get cool breeze or nearby water to offset higher-priced air-chillers. Myatt founded the Critical Facilities Round Table and explains that modeling and monitoring temperatures then using BI tools to predict future is helping Google improve the efficiency of HVAC and electrical costs.
Just slowing down fans or enclosing servers with curtains can reduce expenses and companies find insulation is better than expensive ventilation. One example is Google’s unique approach in its Belgian data center, featured in the same issue. Google uses free air-cooling based on a 10-year weather pattern analysis showing it could simply use open-air-cooling and shift the server loads to other sites if ambient temperatures ever get too hot and the Belgian facility went offline.
Google is also using wastewater from a nearly canal, cleaning it enough for use in cooling towers. That does more than save money; it reduces fresh water use and adds some intelligence to its data. So next time you ask Google to do your research, you can feel good knowing you are “searching green” and helping save money.
Of course, you can also reduce the office budget if you stop playing “Thermostat Wars” and just put on a sweater . . .
Spotfire Blogging Team
Image Credit: Microsoft Office Clip Art