Green data centers are now more of the norm rather than the exception. Green data centers allow companies to realize the best of both worlds: tremendous cost savings with reduced carbon footprints. However, these benefits require the integration of green concepts with a sound business strategy. Here are a few tips on how to make green data centers a commercial success:
Add to the Power Consumption!
Strange as it may seem, the commercial success of the green data center business model may depend on its drawing more power than an average data center.
The big difference is power efficiency rather than quantity. Green data centers use available power very efficiently, offering extra processing power. Highly efficient green data centers would offer the computing power what normally two or three data centers could provide, with just a marginally more overall power requirement than the normal data center. The cost savings and improvements in efficiency is huge, and clients could fit in more processing power with less rack space without worrying whether the data center can support electrical power requirements.
Customize the Space
"Lean" is a good approach for a green data center, but adopting "lean" practices in data center design and layout do not necessarily ensure commercial success. Commercial success requires building the data center using a modular "pod" system, with each "pod" having its own electrical room. This delivers the twin (and unmatched) benefits of flexibility and scalability. Data centers need to activate only as many "pods" as required, saving on the operating costs on space not required. Also, clients who rent these "pods" can use the allocated space in whatever way that suits their business needs best.
Pay Attention to the Location
One underestimated factor in the success of green data center is the location. A data center located in a dense urban area could sell the heat generated to cool servers to nearby buildings, as the city of Seattle proposes. Conversely, Facebook's massive new data center in Lulea, Sweden, runs entirely on renewable energy generated by nearby hydroelectric schemes, with the location facilitating easy and cheap access to the renewable source.
A data center located in a prime location near a major city is perfect for collocation customers who need to upgrade or maintain their servers regularly. Reduced commuting time contributes to further "green" savings in the form of less fossil fuel used!
Offer Flexible Pricing
Many green data centers pass on some of their savings to their customers, and, in the process, increase their competitiveness. Data centers, however, could do more in this regard with intelligent pricing plans. For instance, buying data center space in the traditional way does not suit everyone, and data centers could innovate to sell power allocation for a flat rate per kW. Data centers, in turn, could position racks with varying power ranges. For instance, availability of racks that range in power and cooling density from 2kW to 15kW would allow clients to choose how they make use of the allocation.
Green data centers are the next stage in the evolution of data centers, not an alternative to conventional resource-guzzling centers. At Lifeline, we are consistently finding ways to make our data center more efficient because we care about the environment. For more information, schedule a tour with us today.