The global energy crisis is prompting at least one hosting company to power its data centre with renewable energy sources.
Rackspace Hosting has begun installing equipment in its new "green" data centre in the UK, which will draw power from a local combined heat and power plant that uses wood chips, waste paper and fibre fuel to generate electricity, hot water and steam.
A key figure in the development of the new facility is the data centre’s South African manager, Hans Huberland. Originally from Johannesburg, he became one of Rackspace’s first employees in the UK when he joined the company in 2001 as a Linux System administrator.
Rackspace has converted a former warehouse on the Slough Trading Estate, to provide about 17 000 square metre of net technical space. Construction has been completed and equipment is being installed in the first data hall. The first customers are scheduled to go live this month. The date centre layout has been built to Rackspace specifications, which were designed to better manage customer needs.
Doug Loewe, MD of Rackspace, says: “This is a fantastic project which will harness bio-mass fuels to power the data centre. Rackspace is committed to being energy efficient and making a real and positive difference to the environment. We also recognise that customers are increasingly looking for suppliers who can help them meet their own environment related goals.
"By investing in this facility we continue to strive to exceed the environmental expectations of our customers while delivering their hosting needs.”
Racspace was one of the UK's first hosting companies to offer carbon neutral hosting in 2006 by planting trees through its relationship with the International Tree Foundation, the world's longest standing tree planting charity. The company has already planted more than 2 500 trees to offset the carbon emitted through running servers.