Saturday, 22 July 2017

PT takes lead in green data centre design

Portugal Telecom
Monday 07 October 13

Those behind a new data centre in Portugal, which is one of the most sustainable in the world, has said the way the facility was designed and constructed was as instrumental as the technology it houses. Portugal Telecom’s (PT) data centre in Covilhã, Portugal, has been regarded by commentators as a flagship example of ecological awareness in the data centre industry…

Those behind a new data centre in Portugal, which is one of the most sustainable in the world, has said the way the facility was designed and constructed was as instrumental as the technology it houses.

Portugal Telecom’s (PT) data centre in Covilhã, Portugal, has been regarded by commentators as a flagship example of ecological awareness in the data centre industry. It took a number of steps to ensure that its carbon footprint was as low as possible and as a result, has also significantly lowered its running costs.

Portugal Telecom’s data centre is the largest in Europe and one of the largest in the world. The company chose Covilhã as the location in which it built its data centre because of its low temperatures. It’s the coldest place in Portugal that also benefits from low risk of earthquakes. Free cooling is used 99% of the time, meaning chillers only need to be used four days a year. In addition, the data centre is fully powered by energy from renewable sources, which includes the photovoltaic panels that provide 30% of the power in the support buildings where PT offices are based.

The data centre has a power usage efficiency (PUE) of 1.25, which compares favourably with the industry average of 1.88. The data centre also boasts free cooling and power from renewable sources.

Zeinal Bava, CEO of Portugal Telecom, said, “Within cloud computing there’s intense competition and so as well as our expertise in connectivity and communication we must also compete on sustainability. The steps we have taken to be greener than our competitors also enable us to be 34% better priced than the average price for premium data centres in Europe. We have gone out of our way to ensure that we have used leading edge technology but even more important is the way that technology was put together.”

The use of water is smart at the new data centre. A moat that surrounds the data centre will be filled with rain water that will be used in the cooling systems when required. PT has requested LEED certification - Platinum for the support services building and Gold for the Data Centre block.

Zeinal continued, “Our new data centre is at the centre of our strategy to capitalise on the growing marketplace for cloud based services. Increasing numbers of companies now want to virtualise and consolidate their IT as much as possible in order to save costs and create efficiencies but quite often, enough thought isn’t given to the sustainability of data centres. When we designed the Covilhã data centre, we wanted to make sure that sustainability was engrained into the building from the very beginning. This didn’t just mean having efficient hardware, it meant the whole infrastructure had to come together in a way that showed our customers that we are as serious about the efficiency as they are. Covilhã makes a definitive statement in that regard.”


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