May 30, 2012 – HP presented a data center architecture that its researchers state will rely on no net energy from the grid and could be combined with predictive analytics and lean power methods to cut power usage by 30 percent.

Ahead of its presentation at an IEEE event, HP Labs on Wednesday released its HP Net-Zero Energy Data Center research. The architecture for the data center features energy and cooling from local renewable sources. It also features  power demand management that enables IT workload scheduling reliant on resource availability and data center performance requirements, HP stated in a release on the research. The integration of energy and cooling resources with IT planning is directed by four “modules”: predictive analytics software to forecast availability and cost of resources; an optimization algorithm to balance workload scheduling with high-level operational goals; real-time workload and energy management; and a module to identify areas where planning may be out of sync with execution.

HP Labs tested facets of the energy efficiency blueprint at the data center at its Palo Alto headquarters for the research paper, entitled “Towards the Design and Operation of Net-Zero Energy Data Centers.” The data center architecture, aligned with other energy management techniques, could cut power usage by 30 percent and costs and power from dependence on the grid by more than 80 percent, HP stated. Cullen Bash, distinguished technologist at HP and interim director of its Sustainable Ecosystems Research Groups at HP Labs, said the data center architecture enables the possibility of reducing environmental strains from increased computing as well as “extend the reach of IT accessibility globally.”


Click here for nine ways to cut your data center power usage effectiveness (PUE).


As a whole, data centers have continued to grow in energy consumption, though that percentage increase has declined in recent years. There are also indications that cloud computing and virtualization could cut worldwide data center consumption by up to one-third by 2020.

The data center architecture will be showcased next week at the vendor’s biggest annual client event, HP Discover, held in Las Vegas.

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