Google went green with its data centers long ago. The company, which pushes alternative energy, cited enormous savings as a perk of making the move. Microsoft also bragged about its own greening of data centers.
Now General Electric has become the latest to give its data centers an environmentally-oriented renovation. GE announced details of how it has “greened” its Cincinnati data center, and plans to continue the effort with other data centers, including possibly its larger one in Georgia.
The 29,000-square-foot data center saw its aging chillers replaced and the installation of an air-side economization system which sucks in cooler air from outside the building to help chill the data center. It also adopted an improved building management system and a special GE-designed reverse osmosis system, which greatly decreases the amount of chemicals needed to treat its water.
Over 30 GE technologies were employed in the makeover, making it a perfect showcase of GE's green products. As a result of the improvements, instead of an increase, GE expects to see a cut of 11 percent to its yearly power budget. Furthermore, it expects to decrease water use by 20 percent and decrease water treatment chemical use by 40 percent.
The changes are a strong example of GE's commitment to its Ecomagination initiative, says CTO Greg Simpson. He states, "It's great for me because I don't have to go convince someone to let me go spend millions of dollars to expand the data center. I can continue to use this one more and more efficiently over time and get more and more computers into this center as we collapse and consolidate systems across the company."
The datacenter's building management system was cleverly repurposed from a factory management system and allows GE to track its usages and savings. The company is also pushing virtualization technology to the masses as a means to cut power budgets. By offloading hardware to a more efficient dedicated server farm, cloud computing schemes can deliver power savings.
Amazon, Microsoft and others are also racing GE to be the first to bring cloud computing to the masses.