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More on "green" data centres

In order to expand our "community of practice" on energy-efficient data centres, we have visited several people or groups who have an interest in the topic.

Just over a week ago, some NeSC colleagues and I visited BRE's Scottish office. BRE used to be known as the Buildings Research Establishment and the folk at their East Kilbride office are particularly interested in sustainable development. So far they've been mainly working with housing and small businesses, but they seem potentially interested in modelling larger establishments. They are also interested in multi-level modelling of heat flow within buildings; something our e-science connections could definitely help with. We also had a good conversation about DC power circuits.

This week, I was invited to speak at a meeting of the Russell University Group IT directors (RUGIT) - i.e. the people responsible for ICT at many of our leading universities. I presented some of the outcomes from the HTC week in November and GCN's Green IT webinar, both of which led to stimulating conversations.

My colleagues in GCN have also been talking to interesting people. The most recent of these was someone who has retrofitted fresh-air cooling to existing data centres. I wish I'd known about that before the RUGIT meeting, as this was one of the ideas that was most heavily discussed! I will have to settle for passing on the information now.

I'd like to see these discussions and relationships lead to a "best practices" document, perhaps beginning with the university sector, as the universities are comparatively open about their businesses. We've a way to go before this happens.

In the meantime, I'm putting together ideas for another webinar. I'll blog here if this becomes a reality.

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