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MetLife’s NY Data Center Receives Energy Star Certification

Linda Hardesty

MetLife’s Rensselaer Information Systems Center has earned the EPA’s Energy Star certification, making it among fourteen data centers in the country with a 2012 designation and the first data center located in New York to be certified.

The Energy Star certification signifies that the building is not only energy efficient but also meets strict performance levels set by the EPA.

As part of the Energy Star certification, MetLife’s Global Technology & Operations and its Corporate Real Estate team worked closely with business partner, Cushman & Wakefield to perform several upgrades to enhance the facility. Among the projects were: installing boiler system controls to increase energy efficiency and reduce emissions; upgrading lighting control panels to save energy; installing LED lighting in the parking lot, using waterless technology; and implementing virtualization technology, which allows the facility to share resources and save costs in energy, hardware, software licensing and IT infrastructure maintenance.

In related news, the non-profit industry consortium Green Grid compiled a list of the “Five Steps to an Energy-Efficient IT Environment” for IT professionals, data center owners and operators.

  1. Calculate Your PUE. The first step in understanding your data energy consumption is to take an initial assessment of the power you’re using in your data centers, or your power usage effectiveness (PUE). This will give you an idea of how efficient your data center is using and sending power to its servers. Typical numbers for people who have never measured before average between 2 and 3 watts of consumption to deliver 1 watt to the servers.
  2. Keep It Cool. Once you know your PUE, you can start addressing facilities issues, and more specifically, cooling to incur energy and cost savings.
  3. Virtualization. To make IT machines work more efficiently, virtualization is a key consideration. Steps include taking an inventory of all IT machines operating in your environment and constructing a plan for consolidation based on your needs. After all, every watt of power that a workspace doesn’t need is a watt of power that doesn’t need to be cooled.
  4. The Powers That Be. Natively controlling the power consumption of IT assets using IP-enabled energy management tools provides major efficiency gains. Enterprise energy management systems can monitor and control compute, network and storage assets. Servers are a good place to start and server power management is a tool that many data centers are adopting, and can save as much as 33 percent of the energy used by a server, without effecting performance.
  5. Future Forward: Carbon and Water. Facebook recently became the first company to publicly announce its WUE (water usage effectiveness), a metric developed by The Green Grid. Understanding the WUE – and even CUE for carbon usage effectiveness – measurements will keep you ahead of the game, and with companies like Facebook taking the lead, WUE promises to be an increasingly important measurement going forward.


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