This week, Acting Secretary Christy Quinlan participated in a panel discussion on green IT in Sacramento. Among the issues she discussed was the Federated Data Center (FDC) which is a part of AB 2408, the statewide initiative to consolidate IT. Located at the Office of Technology Services Gold Camp Facility in Rancho Cordova, the FDC provides agencies with a means to meet the statutory requirements in AB 2408 for all mission critical and public facing applications to be housed within a Tier III data center. Additionally, the FDC offers agencies a means to reduce both their data center footprint, as well as the energy required to support their computing environments.

Information technology equipment accounts for 40 percent of energy used within office environments. AB2408 requires all executive branch agencies to reduce the total amount of energy utilized by IT and telecom equipment by 10 percent by July 1, 2010, by 20 percent by July 1, 2011, and by 30 percent by July 1, 2012

According to our engineers at the Technology Agency, the FDC’s green attributes are based on server virtualization, using high capacity servers and private cloud services, among other things. Server virtualization, a method of running multiple independent virtual operating systems on a single physical computer, can boost density by 15 times or more, eliminating server sprawl and cutting maintenance costs. In fact, four tons of CO2 are eliminated for every server virtualized, the equivalent to taking 1.5 cars off the highway.

Federated Data Center, Office of Technology Services, Rancho Cordova

The FDC also uses Energy Star rated blade server technology that will boost physical server density by three times and be 30 percent more energy efficient than standard servers.

Another innovation used in the FDC is the “hot aisle – cold aisle” strategy which provides better management of airflow in the data center by creating hot and cold aisles. All cold air is supplied into the cold aisles, and heat is taken out from the hot aisles, thus not allowing any hot air to get remixed with the cold air in the cold aisles. This will reduce operating costs and the resulting carbon emissions by 20 percent.