Ex-factory now green datacenter
Imagine a concrete cube on an obsolete industrial zone. Its destruction was on the agenda until a handful of ambitious people decided to turn it into an environmentally friendly datacenter, the first green data center in France.
Business & Decision, Schneider Electric and Intel inaugurated the datacenter in April 2011. Ecologically designed for 13,000 servers, it is equipped with enhanced virtualization features.
This project, certified by Minalogic, draws its strength from the partners' experience in their respective fields. Schneider Electric is specializing in energy management, APC by Schneider Electric brings its experience in power and cooling solutions for datacenter applications, electrical installation design, building security, and also helped with the room's physical infrastructure. Intel stands in as the IT specialist.
“The datacenter is fully automated with a very small environmental impact. It is decarbonized, automated, IT optimized with specific operational conditions,” commented Gérald Dulac, Green Datacenter project director for Business & Decision. “Data centers are considered to be green when the power usage effectiveness (PUE) amounts to 1.7. We are constantly trying to find ways to reduce the consumption. At the beginning, PUE was 1.4. We are now at 1.3.”
The datacenter, Dulac explained, uses the water table upon which it is located to power the white room’s cooling circuits’ air-conditioners with “natural cooling”. It is green electricity, generated by GEG Group's (Gaz Electricité de Grenoble) hydroelectric power plants and wind farms. The building is also equipped with photovoltaic solar panels of a 75kW peak capacity.
In five to six years, Dulac said the power supply is expected to reach 400W. Today, it is 200W. “When the data center was built, we said we would be at 150W. I think it is feasible because we are making huge efforts in that sense,” he commented.
“Actually, we will be hunting for non-charged servers. Thanks to virtualization, we know and can concentrate, pilot, turn on and off and anticipate. The energy saving is possible via software piloting," Dulac concluded.