Our data center is one of the greenest datacenters in Canada. Our entire power supply is provided from Hydro-Quebec. Hydro-Quebec is the largest hydroelectricity producer in North America, with 95 percent of its production coming from this renewable energy source. Therefore, the environmental impact of electricity utilization at our datacenters is minimal.
However, this does not stop us from further reducing our electrical usage. Our top-end Dell hardware allows us to control the power utilization of our servers without a performance loss. This allows us to use much less power at idle and off-peak hours of usage.
For example, our servers’ fans are slowed down when the server is not under load and the processors’ frequency is tuned down in order to minimize heat output. The servers automatically turn up fan speeds and processor speed when they detect upcoming load.
Our carbon footprint decrease does not stop there; we are also proactively taking measures to reduce electricity usage in our offices. Instead of power hungry workstations, we utilize Apple MacBook Pro laptops. If the MacBook is charging (which is rare) and the screen is at full brightness runs at a maximum of 85 watts. The typical computer uses from 300 to 500 watt power supply.
We have replaced our UPS systems by a more advanced DRUPS system. A DRUPS comprises an electric motor, a fly-wheel and a diesel generator. Under normal operation the main power drives the fly-wheel and generator supplying the data centre. In the event of a main power failure, the kinetic energy in the fly-wheel keeps the system running while the diesel engine starts and then the generator takes over.
The main advantages of DRUPS equipment compared to battery-powered UPS combined with a diesel-generator are the higher overall system energy efficiency, smaller footprint, use of fewer components, longer technical lifetime (no use of power electronics) and the fact it does not result in chemical waste (no use of batteries).