T-Systems, the systems integration arm of Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile subsidiary, and microprocessor maker Intel are joining forces to cut the cost and carbon footprint of datacentres.
The two firms have set up a multi-million dollar joint R&D centre, DataCenter 2020, at the Euroindustriepark in Munich to explore the industrial implementation and automation of ICT services.
With outsourcing and cloud computing driving the centralisation of IT processing, the energy consumption of data centres worldwide is on the rise. Some observers reckon ICT contributes between 3% and 5% of the world's carbon footprint.
The researchers will look at not only servers but also such elements as recirculating coolers, room size and ceiling heights or water circuits.
One of their aims is to achieve an optimum power usage effectiveness value (PUE) of 1.3:1 in new datacentres. This value is the ratio of the total energy consumed in a data centre to pure computer operation. The current PUE values for data centres cooled with recirculated air range between 1.7:1 and 1.8:1 on average.
The first project will look at how to optimise a green data centre. Initial findings will be published this year, and serve as the basis for ecological improvements to new and existing data centres, the firms said.
"This project is the only one worldwide that is devoted completely to the issue of energy efficiency in data centres," T-Systems director and head of ICT operations Olaf Heyden said.
Intel vice-president Christian Morales said the costs for power and cooling a data centre could match the cost of the equipment.
The R&D shop will study and analyse the key factors that affect the total costs of a data centre. "The aim is to draft a plan for developing, building and running a data centre of the future," Morales said.
The DataCenter 2020 test environment, roughly 70 meters square, can adjust the ceiling height from 2.50m to 3.70m. A smoke generator makes air flows visible.
Intel is providing about 180 servers for the project, while the corporate customer arm of Deutsche Telekom is supplying the infrastructure necessary to operate them.