WALLDORF — SAP SE’s global data center in St. Leon-Rot, Germany, has won the 2015 Datacentre Sustainability Award.
It was recognized for its excellent energy efficiency during the Datacloud Europe global congress and exhibition hosted in Monaco from June 3-4 by information media technology and professional services company BroadGroup. An international jury of experts from industry, science, and the specialist press had undertaken a study to discover just how sustainable European data centers’ operations are.
“Achieving top levels of sustainability is always the result of team work. It’s only possible if facility management, IT, purchasing, and sustainability management work closely together,” said Michael Würth, Global Head of GFM Data Center Services at SAP SE, speaking at the award ceremony.
A clear indicator of just how effectively the responsible stakeholders in St. Leon-Rot collaborate is the facility’s “PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) value.” This metric represents the ratio of the total amount of energy entering a data center facility to the energy consumed by the computing equipment it houses. Currently, the PUE value for the data center in St. Leon-Rot is 1.35. This means that the energy consumed by the building is one third of that used to run the actual servers: That’s an ideal value for a data center that operates in the highest availability class.
Continuous improvement process
There are two main parameters that data centers can adjust to improve their energy efficiency: server virtualization and air-flow management. In St. Leon-Rot, the ratio of virtual servers to total servers is now 69%, significantly higher than the 2010 figure of 30%. The aim of efficient air-flow management is to raise temperature set points in server rooms in order to reduce the energy required to cool the installed computing equipment. In 2003, the year the St. Leon-Rot data center became operational, the temperature in the server rooms was maintained at approximately 20 degrees Celsius. It is now between 28 and 30 degrees Celsius. This makes it possible for the operators to use indirect outside air to cool the server rooms on significantly more days of the year than before. To increase the temperature set points and reduce air speed in the server rooms, the data center in St. Leon-Rot relies on a server containment strategy and on highly efficient air-flow management. In addition, SAP’s purchasing department ensures that outgoing hardware is only replaced by devices that achieve high-energy efficiency ratings.
TÜV Rheinland and German Data Center Award confirm energy efficiency
Annual reviews conducted by leading German technical testing and inspection service provider TÜV Rheinland confirm that the data center in St. Leon-Rot is improving its energy efficiency year on year. In fact, the SAP data center has been awarded TÜV Rheinland’s premium certificate for energy efficiency every year since 2010. In its last review, TÜV Rheinland awarded the data center 98.5 out of a possible 100 points for energy efficiency. The data center also gained top marks in five out of the six test categories. SAP was also recognized for its success in sustainability management with a top placing in the 2014 German Data Center Awards: The St. Leon-Rot data center was ranked first in the category for all-round energy efficiency in data centers.
Key role of the St. Leon-Rot data center
Data Center II in St. Leon-Rot is SAP SE’s global data center. With a total installed capacity of 20 megawatts, it is one of the world’s largest high-security data facilities. Located near SAP SE headquarters in Walldorf, Data Center II went live in 2003 and has been ensuring the uninterrupted availability of the IT solutions it hosts ever since. Like all other SAP SE buildings, the data center in St. Leon-Rot is powered by 100% renewable energy.
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