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Spencer Green
Chairman, GDS International

Sales and the 'Talent Magnet'

A lot is written about being a ‘Talent Magnet’, either as a company, or as President. It’s all good practice – listen, mentor, reward, provide clear goals and career maps. Good practice for the employer, but what about the employee?
25 May 2011

Designing the data center of the future

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D ata centers around the world are reaching limits in power, cooling and space. On top of that, several lack the ability to efficiently measure and manage sufficient power and cooling. At the same time, IT and facilities co-exist but aren’t really sharing information, which would allow them to optimize IT utilization and energy efficiency. Lastly, capital constraints are requiring a rethinking of traditional data center strategy.

HP management tools help address these needs.  HP Dynamic Power Capping is designed to help you reduce power consumption and deliver savings in cooling energy costs in data centers.  HP Intelligent Power Discovery combines Insight Control, HP Intelligent Power Distribution Units (PDU) and Platinum (94% efficient) common slot power supplies to create the industry's first energy-aware network between IT and facilities.   In addition, modular solutions such as Performance Optimized Data Center (POD), and the Flexible Data Center, allow you to build dense, energy efficient, flexible data centers ready to deploy in weeks.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recognizes that addressing energy savings from power and cooling is key to the future of data center management and awarded HP a $7.4 million grant as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The HP Data Center Infrastructure Group and the Eaton Corporation will co-develop power and cooling technologies for a fully enclosed Modular Data Center.  The grant requires that the MDC achieve a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) ratio of 1.25, where PUE = total MDC load ÷ IT equipment load.  A typical data center has a PUE over 2.0, which means that for every watt the IT equipment consumes, the power and cooling resources consume an additional watt. Wide acceptance of these technologies can significantly increase energy efficiency and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

About the grant

The grant funds the research and development of a self-contained IT rack enclosure with chilled water and high-voltage AC inputs. As part of the grant, the enclosure must also accept power from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. The grant covers 80% of the anticipated project cost with HP and Eaton responsible for the remainder. The 2 year project must be completed by February 2012, and publish the resulting technologies developed under the grant. The products that result from these new technologies will create U.S. jobs, provide a more efficient means for the IT industry to use wind and solar energy, and extend the life of data centers around the globe.

This is the first time that the DOE has awarded a grant to an HP product development team, primarily because we have been conducting research around designing highly energy efficient systems with Eaton.  The grant helps accelerate the development of these technologies, making it possible to complete the project within the two-year window.

The modular data center

HP and Eaton are working on a fully enclosed IT rack system, or modular data center (MDC). The MDC will provide 100kW of power and cooling capacity using high voltage AC (400v-480v) and chilled water as the primary inputs. The MDC can also use power from renewable energy sources, as well as wind and solar power.

The MDC will power the IT equipment using distributed high-voltage DC power for maximum efficiency. The MDC's management system will aggressively control energy use to optimize internal resources based on electrical grid demand, peak-demand usage times, and the ability of demand curtailment programs offered by power companies. The MDC will include management controls that actively optimize the internal environment for dynamic IT loads, and interface with facility management systems to provide an end-to-end view of the power and cooling chain.

The MDC will support four, six, or eight 42U IT racks. This equates to a cooling capacity of 25kW/rack for four racks or 12.5kW/rack for eight racks. This requires an innovative cooling system that fits in a single bay at the enclosure's center. Figure 1-1 shows an MDC with four bays, two on each side of the cooling system bay. One of our main goals is to design the MDC so that two people can install it in two to three days with the aid of an electrician and plumber to connect the power and chilled water inputs. The enclosure may be up to 7300mm (24 ft.) wide for eight IT racks, including the cooling system bay. The MDC will be approximately 1800mm (6 ft.) deep, with up to 600mm for cold air circulation.

The MDC will cut energy use by 38% for a 100kW IT loads based on increased efficiency for cooling power conversion. This is equivalent to reducing carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 400 tons annually. It will reduce energy use by eliminating the inefficiencies caused by raised floor cooling infrastructures, such as warm air mixing with cold air above and around server aisles.

Diagram of the proposed modular data center

HP is committed to providing technologies and services you need to design develop and implement an energy-efficient infrastructure. Our solutions help you optimize your power and cooling, lower energy usage and reduce the size of your technology footprint. For more information on HP's green IT strategy visit www.hp.com/go/energyefficiency . If you would like to learn more about the Department of Energy's grant, visit

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