Green House Data aims to be a different sort of a data center facility: one that operates entirely on renewable energy sources. Furthermore, it's aiming to do it without forcing customers to pay a price premium.
"When we were building out our business model, we realized that businesses and enterprises really were not going to pay a premium for green data services. We're trying to break that stereotype," says cofounder and president Shawn Mills. "Why should you pay a premium to be environmentally conscious?"
Thus, Green House's decision to locate its first 9,000-square-foot facility in Cheyenne, Wyo., where the company can get the benefits of a "free cooling" design (where outside air is used to cool the technology) between 80 percent and 85 percent of the year.
Caption: Green House Data Executives Courtney Thompson (left) and Shawn Mills cozy up to a server rack at their Cheyenne, Wyo., headquarters.
Geography alone will help Green House's facility be 30 percent to 40 percent more efficient in terms of cooling, according to Mills. In addition, the facility will use in-row cooling, where cooling power can be concentrated very specifically on the places in the rack where it is needed, as well as a monitoring system (don't know whose) that provides very granular information about the infrastructure.
Green House's proof-of-concept facility, which is opening in April, has been about 25 percent presold. Mills said the company will bring capacity online in 2,000-square-foot increments. Here's another interesting factoid: Green House is standardizing on new blade servers from Dell, which it says are the most energy-efficient option on the market. Here's some more on those servers. Look for more details about those blades when I get someone from Dell on the phone about them.
As far as future data centers (the company plans three to five more), Green House will look to locate in geographies where climate will play a role in cooling and design. Generally speaking, the center of the United States provides good economies of scale for this. By the way, a quick note for those of you who have been following my Alternating Current (AC) vs. Direct Current (DC) musings, Mills' team IS studying DC design alternatives, based on successful applications in Japan. But for the time being, its infrastructure is strictly AC.