Scenes: Google Data Center Efficiency Summit

ZURICH - Google hosted its second Data Center Efficiency Summit in a cinema theater in the SihlCity section of Zurich, Switzerland, aiming to share information and case studies with European data center providers as well as those from the U.S. Discussion focused on improving efficiency across the board, although cooling and power were frequently stressed as areas in need of improvement.

Urs Hoelzle, Google

Urs Hoelzle, Senior Vice President, Operations, Google, and Google Fellow, emphasized that there is no magic in data center efficiency. Hoelzle stressed that gains can be made by both large and small providers without large investment.

Standards Stressed

Harkeeret Singh, European Technical Work Group chair of The Green Grid and head of energy and sustainable technology at Thomson Reuters, described the Data Center Maturity Model, which seeks to provide end users with clear goals and benchmarks to use when evaluating and improving both facilities and IT including areas such as power, cooling, management, compute, storage and networking. Zahl Limbuwala, of BCS, also spoke about the European Code of Conduct of Data Centers, which works in parallel to the maturity model. Limbuwala explained what has worked (and not worked) since the implementation of the code, and noted that data center managers who addressed air flow issues in their facilities had the biggest successes in improving efficiency.

Harkeert Singh

Presenting for The Green Grid, which has more than 200 members globally, was Harkeert Singh.

Panel Discussions

In addition to information about standards and benchmarks, the event, attended by about 150 people, included two panel discussions – one on best practices and one on improving efficiency in different geographical locations by leveraging natural resources.

Google Data Center Efficiency Summitt 2011

James Hamilton, Amazon Web Services, who moderated a panel on best practices. Pictured left to right are; Hamilton; Chris Malone, Google; Rob Coupland of TeleCity Group; Brian Waddell of, Norman, Disney & Young: and Ian Bitterlin from Ark Continuity Ltd. Coupland spoke about how increased customer awareness remarkably changed his company's focus on efficiency. This is significant because a major part of the data center industry is comprised of colocation vendors, who are often constrained by customer requirements.

Google Data Center Efficiency Summit 2011

Andre Opperman, CTO of Switzerland's Deep Green data center, answers a question while others on the panel on 'Efficient Data Centers Anywhere' look on. Pictured left to right are: moderator Mark Monroe of The Green Grid; Joe Kava, Google; Opperman; Brun Michel from IBM; and Jeff Monroe of Verne Global. Kava spoke about Google's new data center in Finlad which uses sea water cooling. The Deep Green data center uses available cooling by employing cold water drawn from a deep Swiss lake, while Verne Global's data center in Iceland takes advantage of the naturally abundant geothermal and hydro power produced in that country. IBM researcher Michel described the future of equipment and cooling, including configuring boards and chips differently as well as providing liquid cooling within the layers of a micro-chip.

More Scenes from the Data Center Efficiency Summit