Book Review: Grow a Greener Data Center

Grow a Greener Data center

Grow a Greener Data Center by Douglas Alger

What It Is
In a nutshell
This book discusses energy efficiency and how to measure what “green” means in the context of a data center. Furthermore, it discusses current methods to make data centers greener from both the facilities and IT perspectives.

Organization
There are 10 chapters but I will group them as below:

  • Chapters 1 and 2 (Basics of Green and Measuring): This group of chapters discusses the fundamental questions of what green is and how to measure the degree of greenness. A noteworthy point is that international activities, regulations and metrics are included in addition to those of the U.S.
  • Chapters 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 (Facilities focus): This group of chapters discusses a comprehensive coverage on buildings, power, cooling, cabling, and refrigerants and fire suppressants from the energy efficiency perspective.
  • Chapters 8 and 9 (IT focus): This group consists of a short chapter on IT hardware energy efficiency  [chapter 8] and chapter 9 of comprehensive coverage on IT from consolidation and virtualization viewpoints.
  • Chapter 10 (Greening beyond Data Centers): This chapter covers somewhat miscellaneous but relevant information such as e-waste.

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   Avoidable Mistakes that Compromise Cooling Performance
   in Data Centers and Network Rooms

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Review
The book contains timely and invaluable information on the issue of greening data centers. Each chapter contains appropriate and ready-to-apply subject matters. For example, the power section covers the IT gears impacts, power/GHG emission relationship, renewable energies, PDU/UPS efficiency, generators, lighting and overhead/underneath access. In addition, the cooing section discusses heat recovery/reuse, economizer, VFD, air/water, CFD and sealing gaps.

I was pleasantly surprised that the IT coverage was not skimpy but included discussions on consolidation/virtualization were given to cover all three of the IT gears, namely server, storage and network. The chapter 9 alone can be a good material to discuss some part of the state-of-the-art at a data center in the IT context.

Room for improvement or extension
Even though Alger covered the state of the art in both facilities and IT, I would like him to extend to cover software from the energy efficient perspective, maybe in a separate book or report.

After physical entities, such as facilities and IT hardware, are taken care of, the next step is to make software more energy efficient. Reference: I recently chaired a session on this topic.

Zen Kishimoto

About Zen Kishimoto

Seasoned research and technology executive with various functional expertise, including roles in analyst, writer, CTO, VP Engineering, general management, sales, and marketing in diverse high-tech and cleantech industry segments, including software, mobile embedded systems, Web technologies, and networking. Current focus and expertise are in the area of the IT application to energy, such as smart grid, green IT, building/data center energy efficiency, and cloud computing.

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