Mentioning High Power Computing (HPC) and green data centers in the same sentence brings shivers to many executives. There are so many factors to consider and some decisions may have an adverse effect on other parts of the equation. Some people may even wonder why try to go green when it is much simpler and less expensive to set up the data center in an old-school fashion.
Relations with international companies, is the big factor. The EU has very strict carbon footprint and green laws in place. Since fines and other sanctions against noncompliance are built into the laws, green consciousness is paramount. Those companies are bound to use only vendors whose practices are green. Part of that greenness is how green the data centers are.
Customers are also another reason to consider adopting green practices. There have been reports of studies concerning the consumer’s choices when selecting what product to buy. All other things being equal, over half of consumers will choose the product from the company using sustainable practices verses one that does not. Around a quarter of the buyers say that cost will trump greenness.
Energy costs have been skyrocketing in the past years. Some alternative energy sources may have less day-to-day costs or at least can reduce energy consumption. Changing practices can result in savings. Use ducts to direct the cooling directly to the equipment that needs it instead of cooling the entire data center. If you build a data center in a cold climate, such as Iceland, the use of naturally available cold air reduces or may even eliminate the need for air conditioners or heat exchangers. Energy-efficient servers and storage devices can dramatically reduce the energy consumption of the data center.
So we can see how being green in a data center can actually affect sales. Now that you can see the “why” of green data centers, you need to make some decisions as to what options are the best for your HPC needs. Dave Ohara of GigOm Research has written a 20-page report (with the backing of Verne Global) that addresses the issues to consider when selecting the best course of action in dealing with the green data center.