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Building a Habitat for Technology

Part six in a series. Greg Schulz is the founder of StorageIO and the author of The Green and Virtual Data Center.

New IT data center facilities can be designed to be green and energy efficient. Existing facilitates can be upgraded and enhanced to address various energy and environmental concerns. It is critical to understand the various components and practices that comprise a physical data center. Beyond the basics, abstracted items that make up cloud and managed service virtual data centers must be accounted for to implement strategies to achieve a green and virtual data center.

As mentioned in previous installments, virtual data centers require physical resources to function. Similarly, physical IT resources, including servers, storage, and networks, require habitats or physical facilities to safely and securely house them. An IT data center is similar to a factory in that it is a combination of equipment used to transform resources into useful goods and services.

A factory is more than a building; it also requires equipment and raw resources to be processed. And a factory is more than a room or building full of equipment in which to process raw goods. A productive factory requires energy, management, automation, and other tools to run at peak efficiency. In the case of IT data centers, best practices, metrics, and measurements for insight into infrastructure resource management (IRM) combined with facilities and equipment operating in an energy-efficient manner result in a viable and economical data center.

Closing or eliminating the previously discussed green gap involves understanding the many facets of being green as a way of doing business, including actually addressing power, cooling, floor-space, energy, or economics (PCFE) issues as opposed to being preoccupied with being perceived as green. Given that data centers provide a safe and secure habitat, including power, cooling, and floor space, for IT resources, addressing the green gap involves taking a closer look at various data center challenges and issues.

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