The Bottom Line Not Always Greener

Does the greener path always pay economic dividends in data center design? Harley-Davidson wanted to make its new 27,000 square foot data center as green as possible, and implemented many energy efficiency strategies, including virtualization, high-efficiency UPS systems and generators, a hot-air return plenum, and economizers. But Harley-Davidson found that several other green data center initiatives didn’t fare well in its cost/benefit analysis. Mark Fontecchio at has more:

The company decided against a rotary UPS and trying to earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification because of the cost and what it considered a lack of return on investment. “We looked at the rotary UPS. But it was expensive, and we were worried about the runtime,” Dereberry said. He added later that “LEED is very difficult to get and can be very expensive, so we didn’t go that route.”

That’s one company’s take. Obviously, many companies are choosing rotary UPS (flywheels) for their new data centers, and plenty are seeking LEED certification. Your mileage may vary, but be sure to test all assumptions about the cost impact of efficiency solutions. If you forget, the CFO will probably be happy to remind you.

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large 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.

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