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The Planet's Green Initiatives Increase Data Center Efficiency
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February 13, 2008

The Planet's Green Initiatives Increase Data Center Efficiency

By Anuradha Shukla
TMCnet Contributor

The Planet’s initial results of its six-month trial to reduce power consumption and increase data center operating efficiency demonstrate that, while critical server loads increased by 5 percent, power used for cooling decreased by 31 percent.

Through a broad range of improvements, The Planet experienced power reductions of up to 13.5 percent. The company expects that the new “green” initiatives, conducted across their six world-class data centers will deliver cost savings in excess of $1 million in 2008 alone.
The results also indicate that The Planet has improved its “coefficient of efficiency.” This is an EPA- and Uptime Institute-recognized measurement of the total power required to operate a data center divided by critical power, which represents the energy required to operate its computers. The Planet has increased its rating to 1.7 from its previous ranking of 2.0.
Jeff Lowenberg, The Planet’s vice president, facilities explained in a statement that with six data centers that house more than 50,000 servers, it’s important that they operate at peak performance to meet the demands of their 22,000 customers. He said that the goal is to conserve energy and drive operating efficiencies since power is a premium in every corner of the world.
Lowenberg added that ultimately, when they operate more efficiently, their customers reap the benefits since they are able to spend capital on products and services that will enhance the customer experience.
The Planet reportedly operates more than 150 30-ton computer room air conditioning (CRAC) units across its six data centers. The company informs that they were able to turn off four of the units in one data center alone. While the cooling requirement on two of the units was reduced to 50 percent of capacity, another nine now operate at 25 percent of capacity.
In addition, The Planet extended the return air plenums on all of its down-flow CRAC units to optimize efficiency. The Planet team was able to increase CRAC unit temperature settings by as much as 10 degrees in some cases while still meeting the thermal guidelines for data processing environments set by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).
The Planet is a provider of On Demand IT Infrastructure solutions, hosting more than 22,000 small- and medium-size businesses and 6.7 million Web sites worldwide

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Anuradha Shukla is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Anuradha’s article, please visit her columnist page.

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