I've noted in a previous blog that no-one has yet appeared to have built the nirvana of data centres: a totally automated, virtualised system where the top level of management is the data centre rather than the server.
However, if cutting energy is the end-game, there's a couple of initiatives that are worth noting: according to this story, IBM is reportedly building what's described as one of the greenest datacentres that will use 50 percent less energy than a typical datacentre. And there's a company in Wiltshire that's seeking planning permission to build a data centre powered entirely by renewable energy supplies.
IBM's 6,000-sq. foot data centre, to be built in NY state, will cost US$12.4 million, and is to feature its own tri-generation electrical system, as well as including the latest generation of power-efficient server and cooling systems. And in Wilts, the 2,4000 sq. foot facility, by Worldbackups.net will be offer backup services, and will be able to shut down server and storage when not in use. Company boss Roland Scott said the company has "a duty to make use of renewable and clean energy when we can, and also to be ready for the arrival of future environmental and compliance laws".
Not quite the fully automated whizz-bang, but it's getting there.
Meanwhile, Microsoft is building a new data centre is Umbria, among the most attractive areas of Italy, and is hoping to use virtualisation to boost the average utilisation of its 250k servers from its current abysmal level of seven percent -- although to be fair, that's likely to be typical of most enterprises. Some 25 percent of Microsoft's servers are virtualised, and the plan is to boost it to 50 percent.