VMware Opens Next Generation Green Datacenter
VMware, Inc., the global leader in virtualization solutions from the desktop through the datacenter and to the cloud, announced the opening of a new green IT datacenter in East Wenatchee, Washington.
Throughout its design and build-out, VMware chose industry best practices to create an energy-efficient facility that utilizes cutting-edge technology and maximizes the use of VMware virtualization software. As a result, VMware expects to achieve $5 million in savings per year from the facility.
VMware has significantly reduced its environmental footprint and expects to attain rapid Return on Investment (ROI) on its next-generation datacenter investment through:
- $4 million each year in energy and $1 million each year in location consolidation costs for a total of $5 million in savings per year
- Deployment of virtualization with 100 percent clean, renewable energy
- 70 percent savings in power and equipment, due to air-side economization, the practice of using free outside air to cool the facility
- A targeted Power Utilization Rate (PUE) of between 1.2 – 1.5 - well below the industry standard of 2 – 2.4
- Pending application for LEED Platinum certification from the US Green Building Council. LEED is the internationally recognized green building certification system.
"VMware was running out of datacenter capacity to support the rapid expansion of our research and development facilities. So, we decided to practice what we preach, and create the gold standard for a green, energy efficient datacenter that combines sustainable hydroelectric power with virtualization and other best practices," said Mark Egan, chief information officer, VMware. "By utilizing a non-proprietary datacenter design, the facility is one that virtually any enterprise or government agency can build. And we are committed to using the lessons learned in the design and development of our datacenter to help our customers achieve similar benefits."
The VMware facility employed industry-leading solutions designed to enable datacenters to run more efficiently, including:
- Hydroelectric power to deliver cost savings without carbon emissions:
Hydroelectric power, which is green and more sustainable than other energy resources, is the sole source of power for VMware's datacenter, which is expected to save the company approximately 50 percent in power rates alone.
- Economizer strategy to enable free air cooling, producing energy and cost savings
Airside economizers allow VMware to use the state of Washington's cold outside air to cool its datacenter facility nearly year-round. By leveraging outside air, VMware is able to significantly lower its use of commercial grade air conditioning and create a power cost offset. As a result, the company expects to reduce its air conditioning utilization by 50-75 percent over time. In addition, the free, outside air allows VMware to use less power to cool its computer equipment, resulting in an additional 20-30 percent gain in energy savings.
- Containment methodology to deliver energy and reduce costs
To reduce on-going operating costs, VMware chose to adopt containment methodology to make its datacenter more efficient. Rather than operate a mixed air environment, VMware elected to isolate the cool air from the hot, and use rooftop air conditioning units—where the hot air is returned and the heat then siphoned off to warm the office area—to reuse typically wasted, server-generated heat. This hot aisle containment strategy greatly improves the efficiency of VMware's air handling equipment, further driving down power requirements. By eliminating the need for a compressor in favor of a fan on most days, the company also avoids wasting hydroelectric power. VMware estimates the cost savings for this system to be approximately $500,000 per year.
- Virtualization to reduce expenses and ensure business continuity
Like many of its customers, VMware has deployed its industry leading virtualization platform, VMware vSphere 4, because it delivers the efficiency and performance required to run business critical applications; provides uncompromised control over application service levels, and preserves customer choice of hardware, OS, application architecture and on-premise vs. off-premise application hosting while also reducing equipment, power, cooling and real estate costs.
As a result, VMware operates its datacenter more cost effectively, and provides less business interruption because of fewer outages, less downtime and fewer maintenance issues.
"This facility was designed with the idea that your datacenter is a system and every element of the design has potential impact on other elements. We also wanted to ensure the datacenter was a design that would be efficient, environmentally friendly, and virtually any company could build with an expectation of a positive return on the investment," said Mark Thiele, director, business operations R&D, VMware.
Power Savings from VMware Products
VMware customers can reduce their energy costs and consumption by up to 80 percent through virtualization. Most servers and desktops today are in use only 5-15 percent of the time they are powered on, yet most industry-standard hardware consumes 60-90 percent of the normal workload power even when idle. VMware virtualization has advanced resource and memory management features that enable consolidation ratios of 15:1 or more which increase hardware utilization to as much as 85 percent. Once virtualized, VMware's Distributed Power Management (DPM) monitors utilization across the datacenter and intelligently powers off unneeded physical servers without impacting applications and users. With VMware virtualization, customers can dramatically reduce energy consumption without sacrificing reliability or service levels.
The new datacenter will support VMware's internal IT department, as well as become a testing ground for VMware's R&D group to rapidly develop and deliver new products to market.