Amid what is now quite a steady stream of "green" data centre news, IBM reported this week that it has opened what it considers its greenest data centre in North America.
IBM, one of the companies making the most noise in the green data centre space, said Tuesday that it had opened a 115,000 square-foot facility in Boulder, Colorado that includes 70,000 square feet of usable raised floor space.
The press release doesn't specify exactly how much the Boulder data centre cost, but the company says the project was one part of a larger $350 million investment in the Boulder area to "help meet customer demand worldwide for green data centres."
IBM says the new data centre is another facet of the one-year-old Project Big Green, through which the company has committed $1 billion per year toward delivering technology that helps customers improve data centre efficiency. One result of the initiative is a significant increase in the news of IBM's green efforts. Earlier this month, the company said it had partnered with RackForce and gigaCENTER to build Canada's largest "green" data center.
Among the "leading-edge technologies and services" included in the new Boulder facility's design are high density computing systems using virtualization technology and energy efficient power and cooling technologies. The facility was also reportedly designed and constructed with energy efficiency in mind.
It was constructed by retrofitting an existing office building on the company's Boulder campus, reusing 98 percent of that original building's shell and recycling 65 percent of the material taken from the older building. In addition, 25 percent of the new materials used were from recycled products. IBM says the facility will be powered by alternative energy sources, including more than a million kilowatt hours per year of wind-powered electricity, which the company equates to approximately 2 million pounds of carbon dioxide per year in reduced emissions.
The data centre’s location in Boulder makes it possible, climate-wise, to employ free-cooling techniques, using the outside environment to cool the air in the facility when possible.
According to IBM, the energy-efficient design qualified the facility for training incentives from the state of Colorado, investments from the city of Boulder and rebates from the local power company Xcel Energy.
The 70,000 square feet of new raised floor space brings IBM's total capacity in Boulder to almost 300,000 square feet total, making the city the company's largest data centre location in the world.
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