Microsoft's turn to tout its data center best practices

As you might imagine, every green journalist in existence is being deluged this week with all manner of Earth Day proclamations from all manner of companies hoping to get some mileage out of the event. I've been hitting the delete button quite a bit over the past 72 hours, but wanted to point to a post I came across this morning that will prove useful.

As you might imagine, every green journalist in existence is being deluged this week with all manner of Earth Day proclamations from all manner of companies hoping to get some mileage out of the event. I've been hitting the delete button quite a bit over the past 72 hours, but wanted to point to a post I came across this morning that will prove useful.

Considering how many of you were interested in Google's best practices for improving data center energy efficiency, I felt it only fair to point to Microsoft's own ideas on the topic. Its sustainability team has posted a blog this morning with a summary of what it's calling the Top 10 Best Business Practices for Environmentally Sustainable Data Center. Microsoft's ideas matter, of course, not just because most of you rely on its technology in its data center but because the company has lots to share about what it has learned about its own data centers -- which it has been building out to support its various software-as-service initiatives.

Here are some of those ideas in a nutshell, consolidated and in my own words:

  1. Create internal incentives that actually support your sustainability goals.
  2. Concentrate on improving utilization, especially investing in server virtualization.
  3. Make sure that someone is responsible for encouraging change management.
  4. Catalog application workload and right-size your server platforms accordingly.
  5. Remember power consumption in the total cost of ownership equation.
  6. Keep your supported configurations to a minimum.

You can download Microsoft's white paper about the Top 10 Business Practices for Environmentally Sustainable Data Centers here.