Sun’s Mark Monroe on energy efficient data centers

Sun made an announcement the other day about the opening of its new Broomfield data center.

It sounded like they had done a superb job so I asked Sun’s Director of Sustainable Computing, Mark Monroe to come on and tell us a little more about the project.

Some of the highlights of Sun’s announcement were:

  • Greater space efficiency: A scalable, modular datacenter based on the Sun Pod Architecture led to a 66 percent footprint compression, by reducing 496,000 square feet from the former StorageTek campus in Louisville, Colo. to 126,000 square feet;
  • Reduced electrical consumption: By 1 million kWh per month, enough to power 1,000 homes in Colorado;
  • Reduced raised floor datacenter space: From 165,000 square feet to less than 700 square feet of raised floor datacenter space, representing a $4M cost avoidance;
  • Greener, cleaner architecture: Including flywheel UPS that eliminates lead and chemical waste by removing the need for batteries, and a non-chemical water treatment system, saving water and reducing chemical pollution;
  • Enhanced scalability: Incorporated 7 MW of capacity that scales up to 40 percent higher without major construction;
    Innovative cooling: The world’s first and largest installation of Liebert advanced XD cooling system with dynamic cooling controls capable of supporting rack loads up to 30kW and a chiller system 24 percent more efficient than ASHRAE standards;
  • Overall excellence: Recognized with two Ace awards for Project of the Year from the Associated Contractors of Colorado, presented for excellence in design, execution, complexity and environmental application.

AMEE lands funding – Green is the new black!

Where there's muck, there's brass

Photo credit nickwheeleroz

I just received news that AMEE has landed funding. We have mentioned AMEE already a ton of times on GreenMonk, but that is because they share our open-source philosophy and they are Green. In fact, AMEE CEO Gavin Starks is the one who came up with the MegaTom concept!

From the press release:

AMEE, the World’s Energy Meter, has secured substantial Series A financing from leading VC funds in the USA and UK.

AMEE is a web-based service (API) that combines measurement, calculation, profiling and transactional systems, representing emissions data from 150 countries and regions. As a neutral data aggregation platform, AMEE’s vision is to enable the measurement of the “Carbon Footprint” of everything on Earth. AMEE aims to assist with the development of energy and carbon as a global currency, assisting governments and companies that need to account for and trade internationally in CO2 emissions.

The collaboration between O’Reilly Alphatech Ventures (OATV), Union Square Ventures (USV) and The Accelerator Group (TAG) will enable AMEE to expand its reach by enhancing its data, and extend globally.

The AMEE platform is already used internationally by many organisations including; UK Government (Defra/DECC), Morgan Stanley, Google, Radiohead, Nesta, the Irish Government, the Welsh Assembly, the Energy Saving Trust, BRE, Sun Microsystems, plus numerous other IT, business services and software companies.

Gavin Starks, Founder and CEO of AMEE commented, “AMEE’s growth over the past 12 months has been quite remarkable. We are delighted to have the financial and strategic support of such experienced investors to take our business forward.

AMEE’s is driving change by increasing the accuracy and transparency of emissions and consumption in a manner that has not been achieved by any legislation, market or service to date. We have developed and demonstrated a forward-thinking and innovative business model. It is based around neutrality, scale and collaboration. This reflects the dramatic changes that will impact our societies, their financial and social systems in the years to come.

The execution of the Climate Change Act in the UK last week, combined with President Elect Obama’s forward-looking Federal Cap & Trade statements are indicators of the scale of change approaching us.”

Bryony Worthington, Head of International Policy at AMEE added, “As one of the authors of the UK Climate Change Act, I am delighted to be bringing dedicated solutions to industry and consumers. The time to act is now.”

Mark P. Jacobsen, Managing Director of O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures (“OATV”), commented: “AMEE’s vision to aggregate all of the energy data in the world fits OATV’s mission to invest in stuff that matters. With the recent sea change in America’s political climate, we look forward to AMEE bringing its platform-based data service to clients in the States.”

Ablert Wenger, Partner at Union Square Ventures, commented, “We believe that emissions information is critical to better decision making by individuals and companies. We are excited that AMEE’s service helps to substantially improve the timeliness and accuracy of emissions measurement.”

Great news, congrats Gavin and team. With the slew of funding announcements in the Green space, despite the trying financial times (because of…), Green is quickly becoming the new black!


Mark Monroe, Sun’s Director of Sustainable Computing talks Green!

Mark Monroe is Sun Microsystems‘ Director of Sustainable Computing. I had a chat with him the other day about Sun’s thinking around Green IT.

We discussed Sun’s new Santa Clara data center, their pod architecture and their Project Black Box among other things!

Mark had some interesting numbers to share, including the fact that in their Santa Clara data center, they reduced the size of the data center from 202,000 square feet to 76,000 square feet and the number of racks was dropped from 550 to 65 while reducing thier power requirement and increasing the compute capacity!

Towards the end Mark referred to two links on the sun site for further information, they were and


IBM reckons Green is where economic and ecological concerns converge

I love this ad. It demonstrates that not only has IBM a sense of humour but also that they have the right story – today, with soaring energy prices, Green is where economic and ecological concerns converge.

Last year IBM announced Project Big Green. This was a commitment by IBM to re-direct $1 billion USD per annum across its businesses to increase energy efficiency! Serious money by anyone’s standards.

This isn’t just some philanthropic gesture on IBM’s part. By making this investment the company expects to save more than five billion kilowatt hours per year. IBM anticipates it will double the computing capacity in the eight million square feet of data center space which IBM operates within the next three years without increasing power consumption or its carbon footprint. In other words they expect to double their compute power, without adding data centers, nor increasing their carbon footprint!

This year, IBM have gone even further! As an extension of their project Big Green they have announced ‘modular data centers’ similar to Sun’s S20 product. They come in three sizes and IBM claims they are

designed to achieve the world’s highest ratings for energy leadership, as determined by the Green Grid, an industry group focused on advancing energy efficiency for data centers and business compute ecosystems.

I’d love to see comparable metrics between the S20 and IBMs modular data centers.

However, the take home message today is that IBM is committing serious resources to its Green project. Not because they care deeply for the planet (I’m sure they do) but because they care deeply about the bottom line and with increasing energy costs, there is now a sweet convergence between doing the right thing for the planet and for the shareholder!