The green IT stars of 2010

Green-tech projects coupled with innovation and collaboration yield bountiful rewards

By Ted Samson, InfoWorld |  Green IT, Ericsson, KPMG

"Certain locations where the installations occurred had very weak or no electricity infrastructure. For example, certain areas only received a few hours of electricity in the day. With a project of this scale, big generators would have been needed to support the setup of each lab in all of the 5,000 schools," said Stephen Dukker, CEO at NComputing.  "However, because of the low electricity consumption, the Andhra Pradesh government purchased smaller generators that are generally used in homes."

In terms of cost, the government estimates that taking the virtual desktop route conserved a whopping $20 million when factoring in savings on larger generators, fuel, electricity, and the like. From a green perspective, the virtual devices are also eco-friendlier than traditional PCs in that they last longer and contain fewer materials.

Thanks to the power of green technology, the students of Andhra Pradesh will be far better prepared for the future. "Earlier students did not even have an idea of how to switch on and off the computer," said Bhavani, a teacher at Zila Parishad School at Medak, India. "After four months, they are operating [the machines] themselves."

CLUMEQ transforms rundown particle accelerator into high-efficiency cooling enclosureHPC consortium discovers circular shape of concrete structure yields significant cooling efficiencies

The Université Laval in Quebec, Canada, had two problems. First, its campus was home to a run-down particle accelerator, constructed in the 1960s, that needed to be decommissioned. Second, the university and 11 of its fellow institutions, members of an HPC consortium, needed a place to construct a state-of-the-art supercomputer. With a little ingenuity -- and a devotion to embracing sustainable practices -- the group was able to transform the 36-foot-wide, 65-foot-high circular concrete silo into an effective cooling enclosure for its supercomputer.

Transforming the silo into a home for a new data center presented some unusual challenges for CLUMEQ (Consortium Laval, Université du Québec, McGill and Eastern Quebec). The final design concept comprised a topology where three levels of server racks are arranged along a circle, creating an inner hot-air cylindrical core and an outer ring-shaped cold-air plenum. The large floor cross-section of the cold-side plenum results in very low air velocity, almost no turbulence (thanks to the absence of corners), and thus uniform temperature and pressure, according to Marc Parizeau, professor at Université Laval and deputy director of CLUMEQ.

"Having a single annular-shaped cold aisle with a large cross-section and thus very low air velocity is probably close to ideal if one wants to air cool today's high-power density racks without using rear-door heat exchangers or other technologies that require bringing water near the servers," Parizeau said.


Originally published on InfoWorld |  Click here to read the original story.
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