The Planet: $1M in Energy Savings for 2008

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The Planet, one of the world’s largest dedicated hosting providers, said it expects an energy reduction program to save the company more than $1 million in power costs in 2008. The Houston-based company said it experienced overall power reductions of up to 13.5 percent through a broad range of improvements.

During the six-month project, the power consumption by servers grew by 5 percent. The gains came primarily from optimizing the cooling systems at the company’s six data centers, where it hosts more than 6.7 million web sites for 22,000 customers. The Planet reported a 31 percent reduction in the power it uses for cooling.

The Planet operates more than 150 30-ton computer room air conditioning (CRAC) units across its six data centers. In one data center alone, the company was able to turn off four of the units. The cooling requirement on two of the CRAC units was reduced to 50 percent of capacity, while another nine now operate at 25 percent of capacity.


The company also improved its efficiency by extend the return air plenums on all of its down-flow CRAC units. In some cases, The Planet said it was able to increase CRAC unit temperature settings by as much as 10 degrees while still meeting the thermal guidelines for data processing environments set by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

Additional improvements were gained by rearranging floor tiles in the data centers to better manage cold airflow. The Planet also installed seals and grommets in the ceilings, walls and floors to contain airflow, and sealing power distribution units (PDUs) to reduce bypass airflow.

“With six data centers that house more than 50,000 servers, it’s important that we operate at peak performance to meet the demands of our 22,000 customers,” said Jeff Lowenberg, The Planet’s vice president, facilities. “At the same time, our goal is to conserve energy and drive operating efficiencies since power is a premium in every corner of the world. Ultimately, when we operate more efficiently, our customers reap the benefits since we’re able to spend capital on products and services that will enhance the customer experience.”

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor-in-chief of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.