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CoreSite Touts Green Initiatives with Data Center Expansion
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August 26, 2009

CoreSite Touts Green Initiatives with Data Center Expansion

By Amy Tierney
TMCnet Web Editor

As communications technology advances and the volume of network traffic builds, customer demand for data center resources is growing. To help fill the need, a Denver-based provider of data center, colocation and peering services is expanding its Northern Virginia data center and is adding several so-called “green” initiatives.

CoreSite recently announced a plan to expand its Reston, Va. data center at 12100 Sunrise Valley Drive to add 6 Megawatts to the facility. The expansion will essentially double CoreSite’s power capacity to 12 Megawatts, permitting the company to serve an additional 50 customers.  Currently, the data center has about 50 customers in the enterprise, government, Tier 1 carriers, and cloud sectors.
“We just had strong customer demand, not only with new customers, but with customers from other locations,” David Dunn, senior vice president of CoreSite, told TMCnet in an interview. “That region has always been a huge hub for content and general corporate activity.”
The new capacity will be available in December as private, wholesale data center space, or cage-to-cabinet collocation, Dunn said. The data center will resemble CoreSite’s Chicago site, shown below.
The expansion will include another 40,000 to 50,000 square feet of new space within the existing 276,000-square-foot building. As part of the project, CoreSite, an operating partner of global private equity firm The Carlyle Group, is undertaking a number of energy efficiency initiatives, including water-side economization, 95 percent-efficient UPS units, Tier II generators that are less polluting than Tier I,  zoned lighting with auto timers, and variable-speed fan air conditioning units. 
Other energy efficiencies planned at the Reston, Va. site include a white roof to reflect heat, plate HX for free cooling (water side economization, retention pond/wells for back-up makeup water to cooling towers, monitoring systems/building management systems, modular UPS designs and hot aisle containment capability for any cabinet.
By adopting these measures, CoreSite hopes to achieve power usage efficiency below 1.5.
“We looked at lot of technology that makes sense for the company,”Billie Haggard, CoreSite’s vice president of data centers, told TMCNet in an interview. “We had some redundant systems. We had to get creative. It’s a win-win for CoreSite and a win-win for the environment.”
Data center operators like CoreSite are increasingly focusing their attention on infrastructure to improve their operational efficiency. CoreSite’s effort to reduce power usage is part of an ongoing trend by U.S. data center managers and owners to “go green,” a recent study by ABI Research found. That move puts data centers in step with commitments by the Obama Administration to work toward a sustainable, energy-efficient future, incorporated as part of the recently-signed economic recovery package.
Some factors driving greener data equipment adoption include cost and space savings from rising electricity pricing and lowering real estate outlays, regulatory requirements, TMCnet reported.
“Power rates in future are somewhat unknown,” Dunn said. “You have the potential of gas and oil prices increasing. We think our customers and [the company] would be better off having an energy efficient data center.”
Beyond energy efficiencies, CoreSite also has high density plans within the center, which will let the company use less resources to deliver the same amount of power to its customers, Dunn said. Many data centers today use around 70,000square feet of space, whereas CoreSite said it will maintain its data center within 50,000 square feet, he said.
While the government has not imposed any specific standards regulating data centers for their efficiency, CoreSite is working to obtain LEED certification by the U.S. Green Building Council, a nonprofit coalition of building industry leaders, Haggard said. The third-party commissioning process offers proof that the company has achieved specific environmental goals and shows the building is performing as designed.
Currently, company officials are trying to secure LEED certification for the Reston site, as well as other facilities, Haggard said. Plans are underway for CoreSite to submit an application for Gold certification for its 11th data center which is slated to open in Santa Clara, Calif. by the second quarter of 2010, Haggard said.
The Virginia data center expansion is the second project CoreSite has undertaken in recent months. In July, the company announced plans to expand its Chicago data center by adding 20,000 square feet of new space. As TMCnet reported, the SAS (News - Alert) 70 Type II certified center offers access to some of Chicago’s major financial exchanges. The new space features 2N emergency generator back-up power and an N+1 cooling and UPS configuration. The facility also includes a return-air plenum, which allows for hot aisle containment to maximize energy efficiency.

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Amy Tierney is a Web editor for TMCnet, covering unified communications, telepresence, IP communications industry trends and mobile technologies. To read more of Amy's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Michael Dinan

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