Barclays banks on cool data centre

Barclays banks on cool data centre

British banking group Barclays is implementing technology from Hewlett Packard (HP) to help reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions at its new data centre in the UK.

The bank has signed a letter of intent to deploy HP's Dynamic Smart Cooling (DSC) system at a new "energy efficient" data centre in Gloucester.

As a result of growing demand for technology, energy costs associated with data centres are rising rapidly, with many facilities running close to the limit of air conditioning systems and the power they can draw from the grid. With the increasing need for power, data centres are becoming large contributors to a company's carbon footprint.

The HP technology manages the data centre air-conditioned environment to deliver the right amount of cooling where it is needed most, says the vendor. The energy provisioning system uses advanced control software fed by continuous, air-temperature measurements from a network of sensors throughout the data centre. The system then continuously monitors and adjusts air handlers to modulate cooling energy based on demand from the servers and storage.

HP says its DSC system will contribute to a package of energy saving measures Barclays is introducing which are designed to cut the data centre's energy usage by 13.4%. These measures could reduce the centre's carbon footprint by as much as 7470 tonnes of CO2 per year.

Marcus Agius, chairman, Barclays Group, says: "Efficient energy management is at the heart of our technology infrastructure, and we are investing to use the best technology available."

The latest move is part of an extensive green programme Barclays has embarked on following a 2005 pledge to reduce carbon intensity from 16.8 tonnes to 12.9 tonnes CO2 per million pounds of UK income and cut energy consumption in offices and branches by 20% per employee by 2010.

Energy efficient data centres will be one of the topics up for discussion at Finexpo - Green City on Thursday 10 April.

John Killey, head of realty services for Emea at Citi - which is currently spending EUR170 million to build one of the "greenest" data centres in the world in Frankfurt - will be outlining the bank's approach to the issue at the event.

In separate news, chip maker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is also getting in on the green act by launching a workstation and desktop graphics accelerator card - ATI FireMV 2260 - which it says improves power consumption and cooling.

AMD says the card also improves trader density, helping banks maximise productivity in workspaces that are increasingly overcrowded with people and hardware.

"ATI FireMV 2260 enables financial institutions and corporations in general to reduce energy consumption, maximise today's workspace productivity and better plan for technology implementations in the future," says Janet Matsuda, senior director, professional graphics, AMD.

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