Non-profit children's environmental awareness group Earth Rangers, working together with Dell, Nortel, Pillar Data Systems and VMware, managed to shrink a new data center into one-tenth the space that it COULD have claimed in its LEED Gold-certified building.
At only 100 square feet in size, the data center will support the organization's new EarthRangers.com Web site for children as well as the organization's EarthRangers.org servers, which are both extremely compute-intensive applications. The electricity consumed by the space, about 100 kilowatt hours per day, is offset by the power that is generated by the organization's solar photovoltaic arrays. The data center's design is expected to save about 111,000 kilowatt hours per year.
The technology contributing to the installation includes PowerEdge servers from Dell, VMware's view software, and virtual private network equipment from Nortel that will enable up to half of the EarthRangers staff to work effectively from home, cutting back on the carbon emissions associated with their commute. The group is using Pillar Axiom 600 storage devices, which have helped the organization improve utilization without drastically increasing the amount of heat generated.
From a personal perspective, I think one of the coolest things about this data center is something that the team is working for the future: an energy recapture plan that will see much of the heat generated by the data center equipment captured and diverted to heat the building or the water in the building.
When everything is added up, the data center helps EarthRangers saves about 80 percent of the power that a building of its size would traditionally use.