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Facebook Joins in Fight Against Rising Data Center Power Consumption
It appears Facebook (News - Alert) is taking a line from the coveted Christmas carol “Let there be peace on Earth,” as after close to two years of campaigning, Facebook has finally agreed to work with Greenpeace to make Facebook data center activities greener, with an emphasis on renewable energy.
“From today, Facebook has a siting policy that states a preference for access to clean, renewable energy supply for its future data centers,” Greenpeace said on Dec. 15. “Coal power is still a feature of Facebook for now, but as they say in the IT sector – it’s been deprecated.”
As experts all over look to find ways to reduce data center power consumption and rising power costs, some are suggesting that the use of green power is the way to accomplish it. Greenpeace is one company that is looking forward to working with Facebook to push for more investment into renewable energy while committing itself to the use of green power.
Facebook’s decision to team with Greenpeace comes after the social networking giant announced that it is building a data center in Lulea, Sweden, that will use free cooling and renewable energy.
While Greenpeace views Facebook’s latest efforts as a “big sign of progress,” according to a DatacenterDynamics piece, it teased that the fight was not over. More than 700,000 campaigners had signed up online over the past 20 months to let Facebook know they preferred its data centers to be powered with renewable energy, and for this to be part of its permanent policy.
As part of to this new partnership, Facebook’s goal is to now power all of its operations with renewable and clean energy and it will use its Open Compute Project, which has brought together major data center operators to share tips on energy efficiency, to do this.
Recently Server Technology’s (News - Alert) Senior Sales Engineer Marc Eisenberg weighed in on the best ways to appropriately monitor data center power and what can be done to combat rising consumption costs. According to Eisenberg, when we talk about power in the data center there are two different thought trains – the redundant IT manager and the green IT manager.
“The redundant manager is good because he is going to build a data center with enough power to run in normal scenarios and if there is a failover, to fail over well,” Eisenberg said. “The problem is that he’s over provisioned the data center… The redundant data center manager is also the same guy who year in and year out is asking for more power.”
Conversely, the green IT manager is the guy who differentiates between what the data center was designed to do, what it actually is doing and what it can do. This manager is able to reallocate energy by not tying it up elsewhere.
While the green IT manager might not be the more “popular” guy, according to Eisenberg, he is the one that should be praised. Green IT managers focus on how to get more with less and in today’s world that is particularly important. In fact, although the U.S. has energy 24/7, the fact remains that there are many countries in this world that don’t have access to enough energy. Accordingly, it is very important in the U.S. to gain efficiencies when possible and properly monitor data center power.
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Carrie Schmelkin is a Web Editor for TMCnet. Previously, she worked as Assistant Editor at the New Canaan Advertiser, a 102-year-old weekly newspaper, covering news and enhancing the publication's social media initiatives. Carrie holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and a bachelor's degree in English from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Tammy Wolf
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