Our topic was driving energy efficiency in the server room and closet segment, and we started off with a presentation from Bill Tschudi from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, who shared what they found after auditing a dozen or so server rooms in a diverse customer group.
Bill noted that there were good low-cost opportunities for improvement at every site they surveyed and that the penetration of virtualization/consolidation was very low. LBNL has issued a three-page guide noting fourteen energy efficiency technologies and measures for server rooms (I was on the team that wrote it.)
Next was Shalini Singh, a project manager at Stanford University, who described how they tackled energy use at two of their over fifty server rooms. In one case, the six or so racks of equipment will move from a server room with a PUE of over two to one of their data centers where the PUE is in the 1.4 range, saving over $100,000 a year in power costs.
In the second server room, supporting facility operations, the room will stay in place but a virtualization/consolidation program is under way that should address existing cooling issues.
Last but not least was Pierre Delforge from the Natural Resources Defense Council, who gave us a look at the opportunity nationally (we could save the equivalent of 250 MW of generation resources if we capture cost-effective measures), and touted our work at proposing a utility program design to address this market.
Participation from the attendees was good, with a strong acknowledgement that the opportunity is very real, but a challenge to address. Pierre and I are still working with utilities who are interested in running a program pilot, and we're also looking for IT service providers who would be interested in supporting such an effort.