Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Harvard Medical School's Green IT Initiatives

Harvard University has audacious goals for a Green campus and Harvard Medical School is doing all it can to support the initiative. Here's an overview:

Markley Data Center
The Markley Data Center utilizes and takes advantage of many infrastructure systems that support Harvard’s Green IT initiatives.

The Piller Rotary flywheel UPS system which has been serving Harvard Medical School's space for years is eco-friendly because it does not require batteries to support the power, thereby eliminating the hazardous waste generated through battery disposal.

The cooling system pumps are driving by VFD’s (Variable Frequency Drives) which are energy conservation tools which adjust the pump speed to meet the GPM flow required by the load. The VFD's save over $500 in energy costs per month (6-7 kw x 24hrs x 30days x $.125/kw).

The rooftop dry coolers are equipped with “free cooling” coils which allow us to shut down the compressors in the Computer Room Air Conditions (CRACs) when the temperature is cold enough.

The cooling system uses APC InRow Cooling (IRCs) which is significantly more energy efficient compared to CRACs. Rule of thumb says you will use approx 50-60% of the IT power for cooling. We have shown that with the IRCs it is approx 36%.

The chiller plant itself has a plate frame heat exchanger which is another device which provides for free cooling during the cooler months.

Markley is replacing all the emergency lighting ballasts throughout the building and connecting the emergency lighting to generator to eliminate batteries.

We adjusted the environmental conditions of the data center to reflect the 2010 ASHRAE standards (recommended environment range of 20 to 25 degrees Celsius, 68 to 77 degrees Farenheit and a relative humidity (RH) range of 40 to 55%).

Gordon Hall Data Center
We adjusted the environmental conditions of the data center to reflect the 2010 ASHRAE standards (recommended environment range of 20 to 25 degrees Celsius, 68 to 77 degrees Farenheit and a relative humidity (RH) range of 40 to 55%).

The Gordon Hall and Markley Data Center’s useful life has been extended dramatically through the use of server virtualization utilizing a product from VMWare. VMWare enables us to consolidate between 25 and 50 physical servers to virtual servers that now can reside on a single physical server, saving power, cooling and physical assets of your data centers. To date

95% of Harvard Medical School’s server environment has been virtualized
148 physical servers have been virtualized into 14 hosts.
We reduced the Gordon Hall Server room by 50 KW, saving HMS approximately $6,000 per month
All future requests for physical servers will be hosted on our remaining Virtual capacity.

Server Efficiency
The HMS IT staff utilize the HP Proliant DL380 G6 Server series for all of its Virtual Servers and applications that must remain today on physical servers (Exchange, Oracle, SQL, etc), which lead the industry for energy efficiency i.e.

Right-Sized ProLiant Power Supplies from 460Watts @ 92% efficiency, 750Watts @ 92% efficiency, to 1200Watts @90% efficiency.

“Intelligent Power & Cooling Savers” Smart power stops power delivery when components are not in use, adjusting fan control for efficient cooling. Smart Sensors allow intelligent actions to preserve, protect and enhance performance and power savings

Improve capacity up to 3x with Insight Control and Dynamic Power Capping. Dynamic Power Capping allows you to cap the server’s power use level, without impacting performance and still fully protecting the Circuit Breakers in the rack.

Research Computing Server Efficiency
The Research Computing staff utilizes the IBM Blade Center chassis in its deployment of 4000 cores in its support of research computing at the Medical School. The Research Computing staff will be utilizing IBM System X technology which is engineered for energy efficiency. In addition, selected systems are designed with provisioning software that can help reduce 80 percent of consumption on servers automatically by putting them in standby mode when they're not needed.

Our efforts to become green never stop and hopefully we'll be able to take advantage of the collaborative Massachusetts/BU/MIT/Northeastern/Harvard Green Data Center in Holyoke which is located near hydroelectric facilities when it is completed in 3 years.

1 comment:

Shaloo Shalini said...


What are the typical server utilization numbers (averages) for a server in one of Harvard med school campus?