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Katsuya Koda (General Manager, Strategy Planning & Development Office, Information and Telecommunications Systems Group, Hitachi, Ltd.) is in charge of the data center energy reduction project
While the IT revolution is improving efficiencies in such diverse areas as production, distribution and communications, increasing electric consumption by IT equipment is emerging as a new energy problem. This is most conspicuous at data centers, which house company servers*1 and storage devices, and provide maintenance and operation services. In recent years, along with the dramatic advances in IT equipment integration and performance, the heat generated by servers and storage devices is sharply up. Consequently, data centers now need a great deal of energy to reduce the heat from IT equipment.
Estimated IT Equipment Electric Power Consumption
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry projects that electric power consumption from IT equipment will increase to five times the 2006 level by 2025 and 12 times by 2050.
Hitachi Universal Storage Platform
To address this problem, in October 2007 Hitachi launched the Cool Center 50 data center energy reduction project, with the goal of reducing data center electricity consumption by up to 50 percent over the next five years.
Hitachi will also build a world-class environmentally friendly data center fully adopting state-of-the-art green IT technology*2 in 2009.
Investigation of the electricity consumed at data centers tells us that the IT equipment itself consumes less than half of the total power. Most of the rest is used by facilities such as air conditioning, power supply units, and other peripheral equipment. The Hitachi Group has accumulated broad know-how about power-saving IT equipment, highly efficient air conditioning especially designed for data centers, uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs), electric power transformers, and large-scale plant construction.
Making use of all this expertise, we are aggressively going ahead with the Cool Center 50 project.
To achieve the goal of up to a 50 percent reduction in data center electric power consumption, Hitachi is going to introduce highly efficient air conditioners and electrical equipment that Hitachi has developed, and will optimize the placement of IT devices and air conditioners. These activities are expected to achieve a 20 percent reduction in electric power consumption. We will realize the full 50 percent reduction by introducing servers and other IT equipment that conserve energy, and by using other energy conservation operating technologies.
Our new data center will also function as a prototype test bed. We intend to broadly disseminate the technologies developed by the Cool Center 50 project to the world at large as one of our contributions to global environmental conservation.
(Published in July 2008)