Sustainability in the Data Center: Innovations in Metrics and Technology
Wednesday, March 12th, 2014, 9:30am - 11:30am EST / Streamed Panel Discussion: 7:00am - 8:30am PST / 10:00am - 11:30am EST / 16:00 - 17:30 (Paris-Brussels)
Digital information lies at the foundation of our modern world, but many consumers and businesses neglect to consider the growing amounts of data they create every day from a sustainability perspective. Storing and processing data requires substantial stores of energy, materials, and water in a world where many of these resources are becoming increasingly stressed and costly to acquire, making data centers a growing sustainability challenge for organizations today.
The most widely established metric for efficiency in data centers is PUE, but in our last Green Data Centers report, panelist Jakob Carnemark (CEO of Aligned Energy) observed that it may have limitations, and advocated more sophisticated, holistic metrics. Meanwhile, while the Green Grid is developing Carbon Usage Effectiveness and Water Usage Effectiveness measures, only 21% of data center operators today report their site’s carbon emissions, and less than one-third track water usage (Uptime Institute 2013). However, this is not for lack of interest in finding ways to drive efficiency – as “astounding 38%” of respondents in the same 2013 Uptime survey report deploying DCIM software, suggesting that there is great interest in tools for better monitoring and evaluating resource usage in data centers. In this upcoming roundtable in our Data Centers series, we convene a panel of leading sustainability managers and thought leaders to explore:
- Why should data centers care about sustainability?
- What are the best practices today for driving sustainability in data centers today?
- What are the most meaningful data and metrics for evaluating data centers’ performances? What would be the most useful to have?
- How can we use this sustainability data to drive actionable initiatives and real improvements in data centers?
- How do our panelists utilize benchmarking? What kinds of gaps are there in our benchmarking practices today?
- What sorts of tools (e.g. DCIM) are available for evaluating and driving sustainability in data centers today? Which are the most effective?
- What are the greatest needs that sustainability managers have today? What are the greatest challenges they face?
Further talking points:
- Over half of data center operators in the Uptime Institute’s 2013 survey report seeking green certifications, but how useful are they?
- What trends for sustainability in data centers do our panelists see?
- Dwight Green, Verizon, Energy & Sustainability PMO
- Edward Simmons, UBS, Executive Director, Platform Engineering
- Jake Carnemark, Aligned Energy, CEO
- Jenna Tatum, NYC Mayor's Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability, Carbon Challenge Coordinator