Now that the space shuttle program has flown its last mission, the only things left skyrocketing in America are fuel prices and the number of companies hopping on the cloud services bandwagon. Some forward thinking engineers at Microsoft have proposed a radical new system that taps into the disadvantages of both of those issues, and hey! it's a Green one, too. Rather than stuffing OPEC's pockets to heat our homes in the winter, why not turn to the heat generated by all those cloud servers?
An example for HP is how it’s reducing the costs of running its data centers. Basically, data centers are big buildings crammed full of heat-producing servers. But, these are important heat-producing servers, as they store vital information from any number of other businesses, which HP charges for managing and protecting. Keeping all those servers, and supporting computer equipment cool is a vital and expensive proposition. HP’s solution is a simple one: build data centers where it is cool and windy.
HP’s Wynyard facility, located in Billingham England, is about eight miles inland from the North Sea. Billingham is naturally cool--with temperatures rising above HP’s target temperature of 24C (75 degrees) only 20 hours a year. And the wind off the North Sea is a constant companion. HP captures this cool wind, using eight 2.1-meter (6.9 feet) stainless steel and plastic intake fans. The air is collected in a plenum below the floor of the data center, then pushed up through the floor around the server racks, after which is it exhausted. If it gets too cool inside the facility, the air warmed by the servers is recirculated. This way HP keeps the 360,000-square foot facility’s internal temperature at about 24C.
HP’s design allows it to use only 1 watt of power for cooling and other facility needs for every 1.2 watts used to run its equipment. Using this technology it's estimated that HP will save annually about £2.6 million ($4.16 million) on power at the facility.
Other green tricks HP uses at the Wynyard facility include capturing rainwater, which is then filtered and misted inside to keep the humidity at a required 40 to 60 percent. And lighter color server racks, which reflect more light, and therefore require less internal lighting.
Google already knows more about you than you probably care to think about. In the not too distant future, they might also know about your power usage patterns. Google’s PowerMeter utility monitoring service has finally found its first partners. First Utility in the UK, and Yello Strom, a German utility, have both signed up to deliver customer usage data to Google (provided the customer agrees).
PowerMeter will collect electricity data every half hour and gas data once a day. Customers can view the aggregated data on the PowerMeter website where it will have been used to generate some nifty graphs and tables. Participating customers will receive the service at no charge.
The hope is that PoweMeter users will be more conscious of their energy use. Yello Strom executive director, Martin Vesper, said of the service, “When people know exactly what is going on with their energy usage, they can use energy efficiently without sacrificing convenience.” Google indicated that PowerMeter is a project from Google.org, Google’s philanthropic foundation. So, would you sign up if you could?
Intel claims that the X25E can increase the performance of servers, workstations, and storage systems by 100 times over hard drives, if measured in terms of Input/Output per Second (IOPS).
The 32GB SSD, which Intel claims can reduce energy costs by five times, boasts of 35,000 read IOPS and 3,300 write IOPS. The official press release pegged the maximum read speed at 250 MB/s and maximum write speeds at 170 MB/s respectively.
The 32GB version is out now and carries a price tag of $695. The production of the 64GB version will begin in first quarter of 2009.