- Award for particularly energy and resource-efficient colocation data centers
- eco Association welcomes opportunity for German data center operators to pit energy efficiency as a competitive advantage
The Blue Angel, which has been awarded to particularly environmentally-friendly products and services since 1978, also has colocation data centers in its sights. The German Federal Environment Agency is currently working with interested experts to develop an appropriate concept. “The Blue Angel will apply to all aspects of data centers and their infrastructure,” says Marina Köhn of the Federal Environment Agency. “A further important criterion is the environmentally-conscious management of the entire data center.”
The Blue Angel's requirements for energy-efficient data center operation, which have been in place since 2011, go far beyond the PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) indicator used predominantly in the industry. Minimum requirements for the IT optimization of the data center are also included in the evaluation. “In the interests of optimizing energy efficiency and conserving valuable raw materials, the capacity of the hardware used should be exploited to the greatest degree possible,” says Köhn. Data centers must therefore demonstrate the degree to which they operate their IT systems in an energy-efficient and resource-saving manner. In addition, they should commit to making further long-term efforts to further optimize energy and resource efficiency.
Signalling effect for more energy efficiency
“Only colocation data centers that are particularly strong in terms of energy efficiency and sustainable operation will meet the Blue Angel criteria. This gives the German colocation industry the opportunity to show how efficiently and sustainably it can operate data centers,” says Marc Wilkens, who welcomes the initiative. The Leader of the Competence Group Datacenter Efficiency of eco – Association of the Internet Industry is involved in the implementation as a project partner.
In colocation operation, the data center operator looks after power supply and climate control, but does not operate the servers. As it happens, many customers use only part of the contractually agreed service – on average, they use just 50 to 60 percent of the power supply and equip the area with fewer racks than they might. This often makes efficient cooling harder, which also has a significant impact on efficiency. “We are trying to manage this with more modular concepts,” says Dr. Béla Waldhauser, Leader of the eco Competence Group Data Center Infrastructure. “As an operator, however, we have no influence whatsoever on decisive evaluation criteria such as the degree of virtualization and CPU utilization.”
Few data centers have received the awarded thus far; however, Blue Angel serves as an orientation aid
Since 2011, data centers that are particularly energy-efficient and that are cooled using a climate-friendly approach have been able to apply for a Blue Angel. Very few data centers have fulfilled the high requirements to date and now carry the Blue Angel award. However, the Blue Angel has established itself as an orientation aid for energy and resource-efficient operation in public authorities and industry. Colocation data centers, which were previously excluded, will more than likely be accorded the opportunity to apply for a Blue Angel in the course of 2019.