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  • How to build a greener data center

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Long rows of racks placed back-to-back to contain the heat and fill the interior of the unique customer rooms. Cooling is integrated in the floor and power available in easy distribution channels in the ceiling.

The proliferation of digital and mobile technologies is accelerating data growth worldwide, giving rise to new large-scale data centers and increased capacity in existing ones. These technologies are transforming the business environment and bringing beneficial innovations to the world. But, what’s the cost to our environment? And for businesses, how can they keep their data secure in an ever-evolving marketplace?

One data center in particular, Green Mountain Data Center in Norway, is embracing sustainability and security at the highest levels to address the environmental and security concerns of their customers. Aiming to be the greenest and most secure data center in the world, they needed efficient solutions to maximize uptime for their servers.

“For data customers, quality and security are non-negotiable factors. And with high energy costs, CO₂ neutrality becomes a decisive factor when choosing a data vendor,” says Knut Molaug, CEO of Green Mountain. So they chose flexible, scalable Schneider Electric™ data center solutions to help meet their aggressive sustainability and security goals.

Sustainability plus security equals peace of mind
Given that data centers currently account for 2 percent of global CO₂ emissions, trends toward larger data centers with more capacity are fast-becoming a major source of concern when it comes to global sustainability. In response, Green Mountain embraced sustainability strategies to reduce their carbon footprint.

Their data center is a 21,000 million square foot facility built 328 feet inside a mountain in Norway adjacent to the North Sea. It is located in a former high security NATO ammunition facility, which means that there was minimal impact on the environment during the construction and development phases. And its location also keeps it safe from even the most damaging man-made and natural forces.

But to further enhance their sustainability, they not only needed the right cooling and management solutions, but also a partner with the expertise to make their infrastructure optimally efficient and reliable.

“After a thorough assessment, we decided to select Schneider Electric as our IT infrastructure, cooling, and management solutions supplier,” says Molaug. “We knew building a super-efficient data center required solutions from a provider experienced in making the most effective use of architecture and technology.”

Schneider Electric solutions help Green Mountain to:

  • Provide the vital power supply to the data center
  • Ensure uptime and accessibility
  • Maximize power consumption and control
  • Plan and optimize operations
  • Oversee effective handling of racks and CPUs

Near-zero emissions, reliable power
The data center’s one-of-a-kind location allows it to take advantage of natural conditions to provide stable energy with near-zero emissions. Green Mountain Data Center utilizes power from renewable sources only. As a result, the company’s customers can also achieve a carbon footprint close to zero.

In recognition of these achievements, Green Mountain Data Center was honored with the “Green Data Center” of the year award at the DatacenterDynamics EMEA Awards, 2013.

“The surrounding natural resources, combined with flexible, scalable, and reliable Schneider Electric data center solutions allows Green Mountain to tap into different power grids, while ensuring power supply safety to its customers,” says Arild Bjørkedal, VP of IT Business of Schneider Electric in Norway. He adds, “Green Mountain had to have the best security to exploit a completely unique location.”

The heart of the data center
Schneider Electric Symmetra™ UPS provides power to all servers in the mountain if the external power supply (consisting of three independent power supplies) and its backup (two massive diesel generators) should fail. Combined with the mountain’s security systems, it helps to ensure uptime of 99.99997 percent.

In case of a power outage event, Schneider Electric battery backups deliver enough emergency power to maintain operations running, from the instant the power outage event occurs to the moment the emergency generator starts up.

Learn more about energy efficient, reliable Schneider Electric IT infrastructure solutions for your data center
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