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August 26, 2009

Hitachi opens greenest data centre yet

Unit cuts emissions by 20%, hits PUE rating of 1.6

By CBR Staff Writer

Hitachi Data Systems has powered up what is claimed to be one of the most robust and energy efficient data centres in the world in Yokohama, Japan and which is designed to curb carbon emissions by as much as 20%.

The newly opened 10,750 square metre green facility is designed to achieve a Green Grid benchmarking rating of 1.6 PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness), while offering among the industry’s highest level of reliability, availability and data security.

Hitachi’s Yokohama Third Centre is rated as being as robust and reliable as a Tier IV data centre, which according to the Uptime Institute is the current highest level of availability.

The data centre has a rooftop garden which shades the building in the summer and can lower the temperature inside the data centre by as much as three degrees Celsius. 

Outdoor air is also used for cooling systems and the facility is equipped with a direct-current power supply for water-cooled servers and racks. Use of thermal hydraulic cooling devices, UPS and power supply convertors contribute significant power, cooling and space savings, the company has claimed.

“The data centre uses a series of power source facilities, including a three-dimensional thermal hydraulic simulator called AirAssist to optimise the cooling and layout of hardware and a new air-conditioning control technology, interlocking the air conditioning system with the energy load of the information technology equipment.”

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Access control to the data centre is secured using Hitachi’s finger vein authentication and RFID.

The new earthquake-proof seven floor data centre is part of the company’s bid to curb energy use and reduce carbon emissions, something it is orchestrating in a programme called Harmonious Green Plan and Project CoolCentre50. 

The corporate initiative has targeted reductions of 330,000 tons of carbon emissions and 50% power savings by 2012.

Hitachi Ltd and its subsidiaries has a series of Green initiatives. For example, between 2000 and 2005, projects undertaken by Hitachi ESCO (Energy Service Company), in which the cost of investing in energy-saving technology is covered by the energy reductions achieved, have achieved an aggregate reduction of approximately 120,000 tons per year of CO2 emissions.

In the context of data storage, the vendor has developed a list of some key ingredients that make for Greener, economically superior storage architectures. 

These include the use of technologies such as thin provisioning, tiered storage, solid state storage, storage virtualisation and virtual tape library, as well as processes that encourage storage consolidation, data deduplication and integrated archiving.

At Yokohama, application of these and other technologies have helped improve utilisation and reduce power consumption by 63% over previous generation data centre storage architectures.

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