Ozzo: Energy-Focused Data Center Design

What might a data center look like if its entire design was guided by the use of renewable energy? The ambitious Ozzo project in the Netherlands seeks to marry IT, architecture, ecology and energy.

John Rath

June 4, 2010

2 Min Read
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What might a data center look like if its entire design was guided by the use of renewable energy? An ambitious project in the Netherlands seeks to marry IT, architecture, ecology and energy. The goal of Ozzo is to create "self sufficient data systems," and it will pursue the concept through a root-and-branch design of its data centers, with energy as the guiding principle.

Ozzo is the vision of Frank Bertram, CEO of MDES in the Netherlands. MDES is developing a tiered data storage system in which content is defined as hot, cold or frozen, with each type of data residing in a data centers aligned with appropriate reliability and energy sourcing. A service level agreement would play a key role in defining and governing the storage and energy profiles. Here's an overview:    

  • Hot data is accessed and modified daily. A hot data environment would use direct water cooling and be powered by solar power.

  • Cold data is still accessed but is almost never modified. A cold data environment would use rack-level cooling and be supported by wind power.

  • Frozen data is hardly ever accessed and never modified. Some estimates suggest that 80 percent of all data storage meets this criteria. Frozen data environments would use free cooling and be supported by electricity generated from biomass.

Bertram is hoping to realize the first self sufficient data center in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area by 2015.  The Netherlands already has 100,000 electricity distribution centers, where it is thought that hot data nodes could be placed. The cold data nodes could be placed in infrastructure such as bridges and then powered by wind.  Large nodes in open areas will house frozen data and will be self-sufficient from biomass.

With the nodes networked together throughout Amsterdam they hope to create the first self-sufficient data center. This video depicts the project and its design concepts - which were apparently "inspired by the world of bees." This video runs 7 minutes and 8 seconds.

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