Data Centre Innovation Award

To date, much of the focus of data centre efficiency drives has centred on optimising the performance of IT equipment, and heating and cooling the air around it. However, when taking a holistic view of a data centre’s entire sustainability profile, there are also considerations that concern the building in which the data centre is contained.
Digital Realty Trust is an institutional property owner that specialises in data centres.

It builds data centre facilities for clients but retains long-term ownership of those facilities. Until a client for whom it was building a new location demanded that sustainability form part of the project, the company hadn’t considered data centre sustainability in terms of building materials.

“We’d previously thought about sustainability in terms of economics, not in terms of building materials,” recalls Jim Smith, Digital Realty Trust’s chief technology officer.

It turned to the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Environmental Engineering and Design (LEED) programme to learn how an environmentally sustainable building should be built. But LEED did not make specific recommendations for data centre construction.

Nor at that point did the UK’s Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), a voluntary framework for assessing building sustainability. There is, however, a process that allows third parties to initiate versions of the framework for specific asset classes, and this is what Digital Realty Trust decided to do, and for which it received the Data Centre Innovation Award.

An engineering firm familiar with the BREEAM framework worked with Digital Realty Trust to calibrate the BREEAM specifications for data centre properties. For example, it is less important for data centres to be close to public transport in order to achieve BREEAM accreditation than other building types because they typically house fewer people, but the efficiency of its energy infrastructure has a greater weighting.

There is some overlap, Smith admits, with parts of the European Union’s Data Centre Code of Conduct. But that standard does not address as comprehensively the concerns of property owners building new data centres. And with pent-up demand for facilities being addressed mainly by new builds, that is an important constituency to bring on board.

Runner-up – Telecity

Data centre hosting provider Telecity formed an Energy Management Forum within its business, in order to ensure that best practice and experience in energy efficiency was shared across the organisation. The Energy Management Forum has adopted the EU Data Centre Code of Conduct to ensure that new data centre builds operate as efficiently as possible.

Other award categories

Information Management Innovation Award

Winner – Hitachi Data Systems
Runner-up – Optier

Green IT Innovation award

Winner – Keysource
Runner-up – Digital Realty Trust

Data Centre Innovation Award

Winner – Digital Realty Trust
Runner-up – Telecity

Security Innovation Award

Winner – Websense
Runner-up – Unity Enterprise Solutions

Business Applications Innovation Award

Winner – BravoSolution
Runner-up – Platform Computing

Information Management Innovation Award

Winner – Hitachi Data Systems
Runner-up – Optier

Green IT Innovation award

Winner – Keysource
Runner-up – Digital Realty Trust

Data Centre Innovation Award

Winner – Digital Realty Trust
Runner-up – Telecity

Security Innovation Award

Winner – Websense
Runner-up – Unity Enterprise Solutions

Business Applications Innovation Award

Winner – BravoSolution
Runner-up – Platform Computing

Other award categories

Information Management Innovation Award

Winner – Hitachi Data Systems
Runner-up – Optier

Green IT Innovation award

Winner – Keysource
Runner-up – Digital Realty Trust

Security Innovation Award

Winner – Websense
Runner-up – Unity Enterprise Solutions

Business Applications Innovation Award

Winner – BravoSolution
Runner-up – Platform Computing

Information Management Innovation Award

Winner – Hitachi Data Systems
Runner-up – Optier

Green IT Innovation award

Winner – Keysource
Runner-up – Digital Realty Trust

Data Centre Innovation Award

Winner – Digital Realty Trust
Runner-up – Telecity

Security Innovation Award

Winner – Websense
Runner-up – Unity Enterprise Solutions

Business Applications Innovation Award

Winner – BravoSolution
Runner-up – Platform Computing

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media (now Bonhill Group plc) from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The...

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