New Data Center Designs Go Underground for Energy Efficiency

Topics: Data Center Management

Data center power management considerations are more important than ever in data center design. There are several reasons for this:

  • Increased Virtualization: The dramatic growth of data center virtualization in the past decade has in some ways lessened power requirements by reducing the amount of equipment, but at the same time it has brought systems with higher power densities into the data center design, which can have a significant impact on power and cooling requirements.
  • Zero Tolerance for Downtime: Data center virtualization also means that more applications and business services are residing on fewer physical machines, so any problems with power outages or loss of redundancy can have a far-reaching impact, particularly in today’s business environment where high availability of applications is an absolute necessity.
  • The Push for Green: Energy efficiency isn’t just about doing what’s right for the environment – although that’s a great reason to focus on data center power management – it’s also about doing what’s right for your organization. By managing the power and cooling requirements more rigorously and carefully within your data center designs, you can save significant dollars.

IT decision-makers now have an opportunity to invest in colocation services for their data centers in one of the most unique facilities in the world , one with natural climate and environmental advantages that seem as if they were designed specifically to meet the energy requirements of today’s state-of-art data centers—even though the facility has been in operation for decades.

The facility, widely known as “The Underground,” is a former limestone mine in Western Pennsylvania that spans 145 acres, 220 feet below ground. The Underground already houses some of the most valuable, sensitive and vital records in the world. The same geothermal conditions that have made The Underground so critical in the preservation of documents are now being offered to customers interested in a colocation facility to house their enterprise data center designs. What are some of these geothermal conditions and their benefits?

  • Low ambient temperature and natural geothermal cooling, which deliver some of the lowest available Power Utilization Effectiveness (PUE) values.
  • Limestone walls and ceilings that absorb heat and provide consistent temperatures of approximately 52 degrees F.
  • An underground lake which cools hot air dissipated from the data center, and then returns it to the data center for a natural and efficient cooling process.
  • The use of outside light beamed into the facility through a long ceiling tube, reduce a source of heat.

Making the data center power management breakthroughs of The Underground available to data center colocation customers is just one of the innovations Iron Mountain is bringing to the data center market. In addition, we offer a full suite of value-added services that make it much easier and more efficient for IT organizations of any size to bring their data centers to Iron Mountain. These include migration services, installation and remote hands, offsite tape vaulting, secure network services and secure IT asset disposition, among others. When you combine these services with the unique benefits we are offering in energy efficiencies, you can understand why we talk about creating a new paradigm for data center colocation.

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