HP unveils Net-Zero Energy Data Center architecture

HP Net-Zero Energy Data Center architecture
HP Net-Zero Energy Data Center architecture

Today Hewlett Packard unveiled research from HP Labs on how to build the first Net Zero Energy Data Center. HP Labs architecture significantly reduces the data centers power costs and energy requirements. The end goal is to create an architecture for a data center that requires no net energy from traditional power grids.

The research shows how the architecture, combined with holistic energy-management techniques, enables a company or organization to cut total power usage by 30 percent. It also reduces dependence on the power grid, and costs by more than 80 percent. With HP Labs Net-Zero Energy Data Center research, the company wants to provide a solution for businesses and societies around the world, making it possible to run a data center more sustainable and more economic. By using local renewable resources, removing dependencies such as location, energy supply and costs, it opens up the possibility of introducing IT services to organizations of all sizes.

“Information technology has the power to be an equalizer across societies globally, but the cost of IT services, and by extension the cost of energy, is prohibitive and inhibits widespread adoption”, said Cullen Bash, distinguished technologist, HP, and interim director, Sustainable Ecosystems Research Group, HP Labs. “The HP Net-Zero Energy Data Center not only aims to minimize the environmental impact of computing, but also has a goal of reducing energy costs associated with data-center operations to extend the reach of IT accessibility globally.”

HP Net-Zero Energy Data Center architecture is described by HP Labs researchers in the research paper “Towards the Design and Operation of Net-Zero Energy Data Centers”, to precisely match energy supply with energy demand required by the IT workload. The research paper is to be presented tomorrow at IEEE’s 13th annual Intersociety Conference on Thermal and Thermomechanical Phenomena in Electrical Systems.

The HP Net-Zero Energy Data Center architecture integrates energy and cooling supply from local renewable sources, with a novel demand-management approach that allows the scheduling of IT workloads, based on resource availability and performance requirements. The sustainable data center at HP Labs headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., has served as the initial “test bed” for building this game-changing architecture.

The HP Net-Zero Energy Data Center is based on an innovative management architecture that integrates energy and cooling resources with IT workload planning through four modules:

  • Prediction Module: Leverages powerful predictive analytics software to forecast the availability and cost of critical resources, such as renewable energy and IT workload demand.
  • Planning Module: Delivers an optimization algorithm that balances workload scheduling with high-level operational goals, such as achieving net-zero energy operation, enabling organizations to schedule workloads based on resource availability, while meeting data-center operational goals.
  • Execution Module: Enables organizations to manage workload and energy consumption in real time according to performance requirements and data-center operational objectives.
  • Verification and Reporting Module: Identifies and remediates misalignment between the plan and execution, ensuring plan accuracy.

As part of the HP Open Innovation initiative, the Prediction Model leverages technologies developed by HP Labs in conjunction with Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, Va.) and the University of Limerick (Ireland).

Press Release