Sun tackles data-centre power concerns

Sun tackles data-centre power concerns

Summary: The company claims it is the first to offer practical and free solutions to help businesses lower their data-centre cooling costs

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TOPICS: Servers
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Sun has become the latest company to play the energy-efficiency card for its data-centre technology. The company claims it is the first to offer practical and free solutions that customers can implement immediately.

"Other companies are talking about offering solutions aimed at helping with climate issues, but we are offering practical solutions and help that companies can implement now," said Richard Barrington, Sun's head of public policy in the UK.

Sun announced on Tuesday that it had cut the number of racks of its own servers from 95 to five, which it said had reduced its carbon footprint by one percent.

"That is real savings in the use of power and energy," Barrington said. "It is all very well to talk about 'offsetting' and the like, but the real savings are what counts."

Barrington said Sun is "doing this", unlike other companies such as IBM that "are just talking about it".

HP is another company that has outlined a strategy to help its customers make power savings in their data centres.  

Sun has undertaken considerable research into this area, according to Barrington, and has generated a considerable amount of data on its own experience in reducing carbon emissions. "This will all be available for use by other companies," he said.

Barrington added that for every degree less of heat that data-centre equipment generates, typically four percent is saved on cooling costs.

The latest Sun data centre that epitomises the company's aim for lower emissions is Sun's facility at Blackwater in Hampshire, which will join two other facilities in Bangalore, India and Santa Clara, California. The three facilities form the backbone of Sun's worldwide IT strategy.

The UK site will consolidate multiple European data centres into a single facility, the company said, with an 80 percent reduction in server and storage space.

Sun's initiative goes back to November 2005 when Sun's IT Operations (ITOPS) group faced lease expirations that made the company decide to bring together multiple European data centres into one facility in the UK.

To accomplish the consolidation, Sun moved applications off 100 older Sun servers (Sun E4500, E6500 and others) with larger power and space footprints to 80 Sun Fire v240, v440 and v490 servers.

Topic: Servers

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Colin Barker is based in London and is Senior Reporter for ZDNet. He has been writing about the IT business for some 30-plus years. He still enjoys it.

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