Green IT and green hosting has been in the news for several years. The technical solutions to save energy in hosting exist. Nevertheless relatively few datacenters are green. The reason for this is simple: Converting a traditional datacenter is quite complex especially as downtime is unacceptable. This means that only new datacenters with the ambition to be green can be optimized.
Greenshift has chosen the EvoSwitch datacenter in the Netherlands. EvoSwitch is one of the few green co-location centers and they are very ambitious about reducing energy consumption.
The common metric of the shade of green of a datacenter is the Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE). EvoSwitch has a PUE of 1.1-1.2, which is considered the best possible effectiveness for a co-location center today. EvoSwitch is also certified to be CO2 neutral. The latest generation of hosting modules in the datacenter will have a PUE of close to 1.0.
Traditional datacenters use standard compressor based cooling systems which were used when minimizing energy consumption was not a requirement. Today, so called free cooling systems exist, and companies such as EvoSwitch are using them in a production environment in order to minimise energy waste by the cooling system. The free cooling principle is based on heat exchange with a naturally cooler environment, such as the outside air, water or soil. Recovered heat can also be reused by local buildings or industry.