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Green IT @ STRATO - Rene Weinholtz


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This is Rene Weinholtz\'s presentation at the it@cork Green IT - Reduce CO2 Raise Profits Conference on November 26 2008 in Cork Ireland.

Published in: Technology
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Green IT @ STRATO - Rene Weinholtz

  1. 1. „ Green-IT” @ STRATO strategies to go easy on your wallet and the environment Ren é Wienholtz Management Board Member (CTO / CIO)
  2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>STRATO - a brief introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Ecology meets economics - why now? </li></ul><ul><li>Savings potential </li></ul><ul><ul><li>part 1: developing a new platform architecture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>part 2: general overhaul of servers & storage systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>part 3: adjusting software for optimal use of resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>part 4: optimizing air flow and cooling capacity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>part 5: switching to energy from renewables </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Summary </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Markets & products </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Active in six European countries: Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Great Britain, France & Italy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Everything for one‘s domain and website („webhosting“), dedicated and virtual servers, online shops </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Affordable quality products - ideally suited for beginners, professionals and SMEs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Facts & figures </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Founded in 1997, campaign „“ in 1998 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More than 1 mio customer contracts, over 4 mio domains </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Two separate data centers in Berlin and Karlsruhe </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Over 490 employees, headquarters in Berlin (Germany) </li></ul></ul>STRATO - a brief introduction STRATO
  4. 4. STRATO - leading in technology and security <ul><li>STRATO is the first German webhost with two geographically separate data centers - Berlin and Karlsruhe </li></ul><ul><li>Data mirroring between Karlsruhe and Berlin provides for a dependable & desaster recovery proven data storage </li></ul><ul><li>Space for more than 43,000 servers </li></ul><ul><li>Over 3,5 petabyte data transfer volume per month </li></ul><ul><li>Connected to many of the European Internet backbone networks (Freenet, C&W, KPN, LambdaNet, DeCIX, B-CIX etc.) with approx. 60 gigabit bandwidth </li></ul><ul><li>Use of brand name hardware and software on the whole platform (AMD, Cisco, Microsoft, NetApp, Oracle, Sun) </li></ul><ul><li>Development partnership with AMD and Sun Microsystems </li></ul><ul><li>Scientific research cooperation with the Max-Planck-Institut and the Humboldt-University of Berlin </li></ul><ul><li>TÜV certified security and availability according to ISO 27001 </li></ul>STRATO
  5. 5. Ecology meets economics - why now? <ul><li>Around the year 2000 data centers were planned for a medium energy density. Therefore data centers today are empty and full at the same time (lots of empty space but with transformers and air condition systems running at 100%). A complete change-over during undergoing operations is barely possible. AIM: platform overhaul instead of building a new data center </li></ul><ul><li>Older software - whether internally developed or bought externally - is not adapted to today‘s multicore / multithread hardware, because that technology was not available at the time when the software was written. The result is, that modern hardware is not used efficiently. AIM: code optimization and load balancing / dyn. reconfiguration </li></ul><ul><li>Fossil fuels will dramatically increase in price leading to a growing demand for energy from renewable sources. Prices for energy from renewables will also rise, but slower (equality perhaps in 2009 / 2010). AIM: a timely switch to energy from renewables </li></ul>eco 2 Software Hardware Facility
  6. 6. Savings - part 1: platform architecture savings potential LoadBalancing Clusters Anti-DoS Filters Web Farm #1 Internet Routing / Switching Level LoadBalancing Clusters Web Farm #X ... SMTPin Farms SMTPout Farms POP3 IMAP Other Farms NAS Head Systems NAS Head Systems Modular Disc Subsystem Tape-Archive Disc-based Backup System STRATO Karlsruhe data center Overview of platform architecture STRATO Berlin data center
  7. 7. Savings - part 2: general overhaul <ul><li>Computer systems: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>before: over 100 systems based on Sun‘s UltraSPARC-II and -III chip generation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>after: 28 Sun T2000 (T1) and 14 Sun X4200 (x64) systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>result: a 73 % lower energy consumption / heat dissipation and 60 % saving of space </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mass storage systems: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>before: 4 NetApp FAS960c clusters with ca. 24 TB net disc capacity and 1 NetApp R200 for hard disc based backups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>after: 3 NetApp 6070 clusters with ca. 51 TB net storage capacity and 1 NetApp 3050 for data backup </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>result: doubling the space and I/O capacity while keeping the energy consumption and heat dissipation constant </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The data center can remain as it is - at least until the next generation of technology is developed. </li></ul>savings potential
  8. 8. Savings - part 3: software optimization <ul><li>Enabling dynamic reconfiguration („virtualization“) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>systems can be allocated to different server farms at any time to fulfill various tasks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the average platform workload is always at around 90% </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Implementation of a newer operating system </li></ul><ul><ul><li>just by switching from Solaris 8 to Solaris 10 20% more workload can be handled by the same servers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>better support of the new hardware platform by the use of multithreading in the OS kernel and all system applications </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Code optimization in self-developed software </li></ul><ul><ul><li>around 85% of our software is developed in-house </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Optimization necessary so as to ideally support the Sun T1-architecture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>fast adaptations (often the code only had to be re-compiled) </li></ul></ul>savings potential
  9. 9. Savings - part 4: airflow optimization <ul><li>Different line-up of racks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>many data centers are chilled as a whole although one only wants to cool the servers instead of the walls </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>racks are lined up in alternating cold and hot aisles (including roofs & cold-air compartments), which results in an energy saving of about 30% </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Improving the operating parameters of the air conditioning system </li></ul><ul><ul><li>due to an increase of the intake temperature and a decrease in the cold air volume (in accordance with the manufacturers) the energy consumption was reduced by another 13% </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Further optimization based on scientific methods </li></ul><ul><ul><li>STRATO currently initiates a research project with the Technical University of Berlin, which is to discover further optimization potential using computational fluid dynamics and monitoring networks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the technologies used for this project already had been applied in designing the climate control for the new Airbus 380 plane, to make it highly fuel-efficient </li></ul></ul>savings potential
  10. 10. Savings - part 5: energy from renewables <ul><li>Using the previously described measures, STRATO saved around 30% of energy consumption per customer and now assures energy delivery from renewable sources </li></ul><ul><li>Since January 2008 STRATO runs both of its data centers with electricity generated in hydro-electrical power plants by NaturEnergie AG. </li></ul><ul><li>Energy from hydro-electrical sources is ideal for STRATO as it is produced at the same constant rate STRATO runs its data centers at. This is different with solar or wind energy, which generates a weather-dependent power output. </li></ul><ul><li>The cost of the slightly more expensive climate-friendly energy is easily compensated due to the savings in energy consumption per customer, as mentioned. Due to that, our customers do not suffer from any price increase for STRATO’s services. Our assumption is, that within a few years electricity from renewable sources will be cheaper than conventional energy. </li></ul><ul><li>STRATO was the first large web host to become environmentally friendly. </li></ul>savings potential
  11. 11. Summary <ul><li>The energy usage per customer was reduced tremendously thanks to optimization of our hardware, software and the facility. </li></ul><ul><li>This restructuring was much cheaper than buying or building a new data center, which STRATO will not need in the near future. </li></ul><ul><li>The additional cost for renewable energy is more than compensated for by the resources conserved. Prices for end customers remain the same while the company‘s profit margin increases. </li></ul><ul><li>In October 2007 STRATO received the Berlin Environmental Award, „Business & Innovation“ by BUND (Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland). </li></ul><ul><li>Farther optimization projects will be implemented in 2008 / 2009 with scientific support. </li></ul><ul><li>All measures serve the environment as well as STRATO‘s balance. </li></ul>r esult s
  12. 12. Thank you for your attention Ren é Wienholtz Management Board Member (CTO / CIO )