Dispatches from OpenWorld: Growing a Green Data Center

Data centers and mega-storage isn’t always considered a very sexy “green” implementation, but as the digital world continues to grow and grow, is really on the tip of the tongues at many substantial IT departments. Scaling up often requires more and more real estate, cooling capacity, and money, but it doesn’t have to, according to Compellent Technologies.

They’ve deployed their Storage Center SAN (that’s Storage Area Network) that utilizes technologies like Automated Tiered Storage, Thin Provisioning and Advanced Virtualization, they’ve been able to save companies up to 93 percent of power consumption and power costs compared to more traditional storage solutions. While the details may not be very interesting to any who isn’t a data storage professional, the numbers are significant: the typical storage system consumers 52,740 killowatt hours over five years; Compellent’s SAN consumes 3,758 over the same period. That’s a lot.

We won’t delve too deeply into the tech details here (you can learn all you want to know and more from Compellent’s website), it’s worth mentioning that when Compellent recently upgraded their headquarters in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, they were able to effectively double the size of its headquarters while simultaneously reducing their carbon footprint. There are lots of numbers attached to this: 90% of post-industrial waste was diverted from landfills and recycled; 55% of the building materials came from recycled products; the steel frame of the building is 90% recycled; and the building saves 240,000 gallons per year with waterless urinals, motion-activated faucets and low-flush toilets.

It’s also worth mentioning that while Compellent considers itself a “green” company because of its ability to reduce energy use and carbon footprint, but developed their SAN and green building because they were smart, did the math, and realized that it could save mega-bucks while saving resources and energy. They did a little homework, realized that “green” just makes sense for technology and building, and implemented them, and now they’re able to offer dramatic savings, both for their customers and the environment.

TreeHugger doesn’t necessarily care how folks decide to go green, as long as they do it right, follow through, and pass it along to their constituents; Compellent has been able to do so, and we’re happy to see it.

About the Author: Collin Dunn