Eni Green Data Center - Specification

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1 Eni Green Data Center - Specification Green IT Adopting the principles of sustainable development is one of the key missions in the field of information technology today. 2% of the world s CO2 emissions are generated by the consumption of the IT and telecommunications industries: an amount comparable to that produced by the entire airline industry. In 2007, $7 billion was spent on electricity to run and cool servers in Data Centers around the world. Over the next ten years, the powering and cooling of computing infrastructure will become a critical factor for economic development. Developing an eco-friendly information technology is among the objectives of Eni's commitment to sustainable energy. Eni Green Data Center In 2008, Eni studied the idea of setting up a new Data Center, starting with an analysis of the geographic distribution of the Data Centers where its systems are currently housed (none of which are owned by the company), and moving on to consider the evolution trends of spaces and power consumption. With the Green Data Center, Eni has rethought every single component of the Data Center system, with the aim of saving energy and considering every component as part of a larger, more complex machine: an industrial system to be designed as a whole. In 2009, the company devised the idea of building a new Data Center of its own to host all its central data processing systems, intended for both administrative information systems and HPC (High Performance Computing) calculation simulation systems, with more than 7,000 systems and 60,000 core CPUs. 1

2 The center, due to be completed by the end of 2012, is designed to host IT systems which absorb up to 30MW of useable IT power, in a space measuring 5,200 metres square in 6 IT rooms. The project s outstanding features are: the world s most energy efficient Data Center dimensions (in terms of MW of energy) which are unique in Italy and among the top in Europe and the world all-located, designed and constructed within Italy Guidelines of the project All aspects of the projects were rethought starting from the heart of the system (the requirements and features of IT apparatus), both from the point of view of the architecture (with optimal positioning of each space to minimise, for example, the distance travelled by electricity and air) and the engineering solutions. All this, while preserving the necessary flexibility to adapt the new center to fit future technological developments, ensuring they guarantee the highest level of redundancy systems and comply with operating parameters for the data centers established by international regulations. In a data center the main items of energy consumption, besides of course the computer equipment, are cooling systems, ventilation and electrical distribution. For the Green Data Center in Eni, processes were carried out for each category of consumption to try to identify optimal and innovative solutions to reduce energy consumption in order to improve the PUE energy efficiency parameter: the goal is to bring it to below the value of 1.2. The P.U.E. (Power Usage Effectiveness) parameter indicates the ratio between a Data Center s total electricity consumption (IT apparatus, air conditioners, fans, UPSs, etc.) and consumption of IT apparatus alone. Standard non-energy efficient Data Centers normally exceed a value of 3.0; a PUE of 2.0 is considered a good result; a value lower than 1.5 represents a very aggressive policy. For example, with an IT consumption of 10MW, a DC with a PUE of 1.2 consumes a total of 12MW, while one with a PUE of 3 consumes 30MW, saving 18MW of energy. 2

3 The principles of sustainability with which the new Data Center was designed can be traced back to the choice of the place where it's located. The choice of Ferrera Erbognone as a location for the project was determined as it is in the immediate vicinity of the power plant of Enipower, the plant of Eni that best meets the requirements for electrical power for the Data Center: the power required is already available and generated using gas turbines of natural gas, the cleanest of fossil fuels used to produce electricity. The facility will consist of two perfectly symmetrical volumes referred to as clover leaves - which are completely independent and redundant of each other in order to guarantee uninterrupted service from both a structural and engineering point of view. The entire building, except for the central zone separating the two clover leaves, is underground up to the roof, creating an artificial hill which is landscaped to improve its visual impact. The air conditioning system is the Center s most innovative component. The Direct Free- Cooling method will be used, cooling IT systems directly with air from outdoors and keeping the forced ventilation air conditioning system turned off whenever possible. This is possible because the IT systems will work at a temperature of around C: a higher temperature (though controlled and stable) than in conventional Data Centers, where the temperature is usually around C. In this way, even at the latitude of the 45th parallel, in the Po Valley, on the basis of an historical analysis of temperature and humidity, for more than 75% of the year a sufficient amount of air from outdoors can cool up to 30MW of IT systems. The air conditioning system will be tripped for a maximum of 25% of the hours in the year, whereas in a conventional data center it operates 100% of the time. The entire air treatment system is a highly innovative integrated solution in terms of both its operating logic and its scale. The Center s geographic location on the 45th parallel obviously poses an additional challenge for the achievement of a record-breaking PUE as compared to Data Centers located further north (in Ireland, UK and the Rocky Mountains in the US) in areas with more beneficial climates. The system for filtering incoming air was also the subject of specific study and of in-depth simulations. The air from the outside, before being introduced into the system, will be filtered 3

4 for dust, removed to the extent of about 3,000 kilograms per year. Therefore, the air returned outside will be clean. To ensure the correct distribution of hot and cold air flow in the IT rooms, so as to bring the necessary cold air to the IT systems without dispersion, the Data Center will strictly divide the air in CAGE structures, which keep the cold air corridor (along which all the server systems are aligned, with air intakes) closed and separate. Meanwhile the entire IT room will form a warm corridor, in which the air expelled by IT servers is conveyed towards the expulsion point in the stack by thrust and by the stack effect. An innovative idea was applied to limiting the risk of fire, which is statistically high in Data Centers near the emergency diesel generators and especially in the UPS batteries, which are normally present in large quantities in a single room. Additional risky apparatus are always installed in separate premises, and batteries, the biggest source of danger, are divided up in small rooms which are totally isolated. The battery rooms do not have free-cooling but conventional controlled air conditioning, with special stacks featuring natural ventilation which may, if necessary, be used to release any fumes from overheating or combustion. In order to optimise the paths travelled by electricity, the distribution Power Centers are designed to operate at medium voltage (20,000 V), up to only a few metres away from the final distribution system towards the IT servers, positioning them in locations which are aligned with the final distribution systems (UPSs). This positioning of the apparatus ensures that each IT server is always supplied by 2 separate lines coming from the opposite sides of the room, and therefore by 2 different UPSs (each with its own emergency batteries), which are in turn connected to two different general power supplies. Each system is also redundant in terms of electrical panels to ensure that each sub-branch of the system continues to be supplied even in the event of a fault on one of the main distribution lines. A failure on one side of the room can only result in a fault in a single sub-system of apparatus affecting, at most, half of the power supply: the other half will continue to keep the systems running. 4

5 In addition, a truly innovative medium-sized UPS (200kW) is used, which operates with offline technology (that is, it stays off, on standby, and is tripped only in the event of a significant discontinuity in the power supply), with very high efficiency (99.4% at 50% load). The scale and importance of the Eni project convinced the world s principal manufacturers of UPS equipment to start working on the development and sale of products of this type, which were not previously available. All lighting systems and accessory forms of consumption were analysed to optimize their power consumption: indoor lighting is provided by fluorescent bulbs turned on by motion detector sensors; outdoor security lighting employs LED bulbs; even the colours of the walls and rooms were chosen to ensure high luminosity. 5

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