OK, by the time this next week is out, you will be as weary as I am of all the "greenest" "more energy-efficient" data centers ever built news that I will report. The good news is that no matter WHICH claim to be the greenest is true, there is some truly practical work going on. The unanswered question is how far people will be able to go with retrofitting existing facilities, which is essentially what the vendor in question -- in this case IBM -- has done.
So, IBM says it has flipped the switch on what it has dubbed the "greenest" data center in North America. The 115,000-square-foot facility is sited in Boulder and was made out of an existing office building. Approximately 65 percent of the materials from the original facility were recycled and about 25 percent of the "new" materials used in the retrofit contained recycled products. IBM snagged training incentives from the state, some investment credits from the city and some rebates from Xcel Energy for the work it did on the project. (By the way, this particular site is PART of a $350 million investment that IBM has made in Boulder to provide green data centers.)
The data center will be partially powered by alternative energy, including one million kilowatt-hours of wind-powered electricity. IBM estimates that using wind power will result in a reduction of about 2 million pounds of carbon dioxide, compared with traditional energy sources.
Other quick stats: - An automatic switchover to free-cooling mode (you'll hear this alot) whenever outdoor temperatures and humidity levels are conducive. - Variable speed pumps and motors (you'll hear this alot, too) that can be better balanced to actual usage loads.