Fermilab data center receives EPA Energy Star award

Fermilab’s Grid Computing Center was recently named an Energy Star award recipient.

Each year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy honor organizations that have made outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through energy efficiency. Fermilab’s Grid Computing Center received the agency’s Energy Star award for 2010 for ranking in the top 25th percentile of data centers registered with the EPA. See here.

Fermilab’s GCC was built in 2004 in the old wide band hall. It has since expanded to a 16,000 square-foot data center that houses computers, networking and data storage robotics and the necessary power and cooling infrastructure. The GCC serves the computing needs of the laboratory’s research programs.

The GCC employs cutting-edge computing techniques, including grid and cloud computing, to optimally use large clusters of computers and storage. These systems are connected through high-speed networks to other facilities at Fermilab and across the world to collect, archive, process, simulate and analyze data from global scientific programs.

The GCC has 255 rack spaces for high-density computers and provides power and cooling for computers that consume between 10 and 15 kilowatts per rack. More than 7,000 computers in GCC currently use 1.5 megawatts of power and growing. There is more than 1,000 tons of air conditioning available to remove the heat generated by computers. It takes 0.7 megawatts to run the air conditioners plus lighting and other support infrastructure. To help maximize energy efficiency, Fermilab incorporated energy conservation measures during the engineering and construction phases. These measures include management of warm and cold unobstructed air flows, high efficiency power components, using room designs influenced by modeling and prototyping tools, and other measures that together contribute to efficient energy use.

— Gerry Bellendir, Computing Division