Designing, Building, and Operating for Energy Efficiency
Oracle received the ASHRAE Technology Award for pioneering airflow containment at its Austin Data Center and evaporative cooling technology at the Utah Compute Facility.
Oracle designs, builds, and operates some of the most energy-efficient data centers in the industry. Our two largest data centers—the Utah Compute Facility and the Austin Data Center—won the prestigious ASHRAE Technology Award in 2014 for leveraging innovative, energy-saving technologies such as airflow containment and evaporative cooling.
We disseminate our research and best practices through publications and presentations at national and international conferences. Customers can use our data centers as an example of how to construct, manage, and build their own efficient data centers, or they can run their applications on Oracle’s public cloud and take advantage of Oracle’s efficiencies. To learn more about how Oracle products and services can help optimize your data center and minimize energy use, visit Oracle Sustainability Solutions.
Our largest data centers have been widely recognized for leading the way in energy efficiency.
- In 2014, Oracle's Utah Compute Facility was awarded an ENERGY STAR certification by the US Environmental Protection Agency in recognition of its superior energy performance. This data center employs an innovative fresh-air cooling technology, uses waste heat from IT equipment to humidify the space, employs energy-saving controls, and operates its infrastructure at energy levels that are 66 percent more efficient than industry standards.
- Oracle's Austin Data Center is the first facility to employ hot-air containment technology. This data center operates its infrastructure at energy levels 56 percent below the industry average.
In addition, Oracle designs and operates several small data centers around the world. Through the CRACdown program, we continually evaluate our operational and energy performance, and upgrade with new technologies and solutions.
In addition to using our own engineered systems, we employ the following energy-saving approaches in the management of our data centers:
- Consolidation: We have consolidated our data center operations over the last five years. Fewer data centers means less energy consumption.
- Technology replacement: We refresh and reuse hardware, and replace older systems with energy-efficient Sun servers.
- Server virtualization: We use Oracle virtualization technology to enable servers to service more than one business function when necessary.
- Power efficiency management: We reduce uninterruptible power supply (UPS) losses by implementing ECOMode on installed UPS devices, using rotary UPS where applicable, installing branch circuit monitoring, and reducing or eliminating standby energy losses at chiller heater blocks, generator heater blocks, cooling tower sump heaters, and gutter heaters.
- Cooling: We strive to match the airflow from cooling equipment to the actual cooling needs of our servers and IT equipment. We deploy an intelligent energy management system that allows wireless monitoring and adjusting of cooling controls. Beyond this, at our Utah Compute Facility, we operate a unique cooling system that uses outdoor air to cool the facility 90 percent of the year.
- Hot-air containment: We first introduced hot-air containment and variable airflow cooling in our Austin Data Center in 2004. This approach, now adopted by many other data centers, significantly reduces energy consumption by preventing hot air recirculation. This innovation saves approximately 16 million kilowatt hours annually—enough energy to power 1,400 Texas homes for a year.
- Power concentration: At our Utah Compute Facility, we separate networking and power distribution so computing power can be more concentrated within the data center.
Data center energy efficiency is often measured by a power usage effectiveness (PUE) rating—the ratio of energy used to run the servers to the energy used to run the infrastructure. Oracle’s Utah Compute Facility’s PUE energy rating is less than 1.3, which means it uses 66 percent less energy than the industry average.