Silicon Valley's Fortune Data Centers commences green ops

April 28, 2009
April 28, 2009 -- The provider of wholesale data center space for corporate customers reports that it achieves top energy-efficiency metrics at its new San Jose facility, estimating annual energy-efficiency savings at $4 million and reduction of CO2 emissions by 27,000 tons annually. The company is awaiting LEED Gold Certification.

April 28, 2009 -- Fortune Data Centers, a provider of premium wholesale data center space for corporate customers, announced that it has commenced operations of a new, highly energy-efficient, "green" data center in Silicon Valley -- despite an industry slowdown of new development due to the economic downturn and lack of available financing. "To be able to fund, construct, commission, and lease a project of this size in this economic climate is a true indication of the underlying strength of local data center market," remarks Fortune Data Centers' CEO John Sheputis. "I consider the Phase I facility to be among the largest, most powerful, and most energy-efficient data centers ever to be developed in Silicon Valley."

According to the company, the new facility, located at 2001 Fortune Drive in San Jose, delivers superior energy efficiency as measured by Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) - a standard developed by The Green Grid consortium. PUE is determined by dividing the total facility power by the IT equipment power - the lower the resulting ratio, the more efficient the data center. During independent testing through a Level 5 Commissioning Process, Fortune reports that its data center achieved a PUE of 1.37 at full load, an energy-efficiency level far superior to the industry average data center PUE of 2.0, and better than the EPA's 2011 target PUE of 1.45 for state-of-the-art enterprise-class data centers.

Fortune estimates that moving IT load from a legacy data center to the new facility would result in reduced annual electrical consumption of 40 million Kilowatt-hours, enough to fully power 3,800 average U.S. homes. In economic terms, Fortune estimates this energy reduction will save tenants over $4 million per year in energy costs. In environmental terms, removing 40 million Kilowatt-hours from the U.S. grid reduces CO2 emissions by approximately 27,000 tons annually.

Fortune says the facility's energy efficiency results from a re-thinking of traditional data center cooling methods. Data centers traditionally rely on raised floor to deliver cold air to servers. The cold air is forced up to the IT equipment through the raised floor; this requires considerable fan horsepower to push the cold air high enough to reach servers at the top of a standard rack or cabinet. By contrast, Fortune has eliminated the raised floor and instead supplies cold air from an overhead plenum, with insulated ducts for hot air return. Taking advantage of the natural density of cold air and the buoyancy of hot air significantly reduces the power required for air distribution. In addition to the energy savings, mounting cabinets directly on the floor reduces installation cost, increases seismic stability, and removes weight constraints.

Other key efficiency features include the use of ambient cooling to supplement and optimize chilling capacity. Fortune has installed 5 high efficiency cooling towers to supply 3,500 tons of cooling capacity, greatly increasing the central chilling plant efficiency. Fortune also requires the use of contained hot / cold aisles in the data rooms. Eliminating the mixing of hot and cold air allows for better air pressure control, decreases waste, and further reduces needed fan horsepower.

In addition to designing the facility to be energy-efficient, Fortune has worked with DPR Construction and other partners to adhere to sustainable construction and operational methods, as described in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Program (LEED) of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Fortune has submitted all required documentation for its San Jose data center to achieve a Gold rating under the LEED Certification for Commercial Interiors, Major Renovation. Upon certification, Fortune San Jose could become the first operational data center in California to achieve the LEED Gold certification.

According to DPR Construction, approximately 96% of construction waste was diverted from landfill, meaning 1,137 tons of material were either recycled or re-used on site. LEED points were earned for use of regionally sourced and recycled content of the construction materials. Furthermore, all paints, adhesives, sealants, and coatings were low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound).

Facility operations are controlled by a state-of-the-art building management system with extensive power and environmental metering. Refrigerants are non-CFC based, and cleaning materials are LEED compliant. In addition, lighting is motion sensor controlled.

The recently completed initial phase provides 7.86 Megawatts of IT critical load over two data rooms consisting of 43,000 fully powered and usable square feet of IT floor space in a 78,000 square foot building. The facility was built with blade servers in mind, and will support a minimum energy density of 185 watts per square foot, more than adequate for the high density needs of cloud computing. When fully complete, Fortune San Jose is slated to consist of over 140,000 square feet in three buildings on a 9.26-acre campus.

The Phase I development was designed, built, commissioned, and will be maintained to the highest industry standards by the leading firms in the industry. Fortune partnered with DPR Construction, Rosendin Electric, Therma, and Dowler Gruman Architects. EYP Mission Critical Facilities, recently acquired by Hewlett Packard, led the Level 5 commissioning effort. Fortune's facility engineering and maintenance conform to ISO 9001 standards.

Fortune made significant investments in the property, including structural and seismic upgrades, allowing the building and systems to meet the FEMA "Essential Facility" standards. Power backup is provided by seven new Cummins diesel generators for 14.75 Megawatts of back-up power.

The facility is carrier neutral, with diverse paths and multiple points of network entry. AboveNet, Level3, and AT&T are on-site; Verizon and XO are also available in nearby communications vaults.

"There is a continuing demand for high quality data center space in Silicon Valley," offers Dan Golding, vice president and research director, Tier1 Research. "The current recession has dried up new data center supplies while pushing enterprises to outsource their data center requirements to specialist firms. The direction of the Bay Area market is clear: higher utilizations now and higher prices in 2010 - smart buyers will lock in as soon as possible."

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