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Interoute wins environmental award for data centre energy saving innovation

May 2018 by Marc Jacob

Interoute has received the SIG GIGA Trophy in recognition of its successful efforts to increase energy efficiency and reduce the CO2 consumption of its data centre in Geneva, Switzerland. The trophy is awarded to companies in Switzerland that demonstrate a long-term commitment to improving energy efficiency, and those who have reduced electricity consumption by more than one gigawatt hour per year.

Interoute has achieved the energy savings by implementing a variety of cooling and power improvements. These include:

• A custom-made cold aisle containment system. Approximately 1,000 racks in the data centre were each fitted with custom-made cold aisle containment doors and panels. The new system means that only the racks are cooled rather than the whole room, which in turn reduces overall energy expenditure. It ensures consistent and predictable airflow to eliminate server hotspots. It also enables the introduction of specific set temperatures to create the most efficient operating environment for the IT equipment in each aisle.
• Unique under-floor cooling pathways. The team further augmented the cold aisle containment system by building sealed pathways under the raised floor to ensure cold air was sent directly to the containment systems. Likened to a complex geometry challenge, the result has approximately halved the amount of underfloor space needing to be cooled, providing a considerably energy saving given the 2,200m2 data centre footprint. The pathways also accommodate technical requirements such as cable trays for fibre and copper wiring and space for fire detection systems.
• A new and enhanced cooling system. The existing 58 cooling units that used a fixed fan speed have now been adapted to accommodate variable fan speeds. This enables fan speeds to be accurately matched to demand, in order to avoid excess power usage. In addition to this, the data centre has been fitted with new 1.2MW free cooling infrastructure. On cold days this brings in air from the outside to help cool down the IT equipment, reducing the need for powered cooling units even further.
• Introduction of static Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) systems. Half of the existing rotary UPS systems have been replaced with new, static UPS systems, which are more energy efficient.
• Re-balancing of IT loads. Where possible, servers have been consolidated and loads concentrated into fewer racks, enabling cooling and equipment to be shut down in emptied areas.

Interoute’s 15 data centres connect to over 126 cities, including 29 city networks. They are designed for the delivery of IaaS and virtualised services, as well as colocation and managed hosting services. The data centre services are backed by robust SLAs and provide a range of flexible alternatives to on-premise IT infrastructure and hosting, for enterprise customers.

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