Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information on how we use and manage cookies please take a look at our privacy and cookie policies. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.


National Australia Bank shares secrets of carbon reduction

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save

The National Australia Bank - one of the founding members of the Open Data Center Alliance’s (ODCA’s) steering committee - released a paper detailing work undertaken in the design of its new data center which ensures the company can retain its 100% carbon-neutral status, first achieved in September 2010.

It said since taking the pledge to be carbon neutral back in 2007, it developed and delivered programs that have reduced its business-as-usual emissions by more than 25% (the equivalent of 59,200 tonnes of carbon). A new data center being built in Australia, however, has posed new challenges for the bank wanting to maintain its status.

In the whitepaper, published by the ODCA for members, the NAB said back in the initial stages of reducing the use of carbon, the “NAB’s technology department contributed significantly to the effort”.

The new data center will increase the efforts IT plays in the bank’s efficiency drive. It will allow the bank to undertake a massive consolidation project, moving its data center operations to a greener facility that will be ready for testing in July 2013.

The NAB currently operates two data centers in Melbourne. It partnered with Digital Realty Trust and IBM to design its new data center, and once launched this will replace its oldest facility.

Eventually, the new data center will also host systems currently housed in 30 smaller facilities – or computer rooms – across the country.

Overall, the NAB will consolidate more than 2,000 servers by the time the full migration is complete in September 2014.

“IBM is now responsible for the hardware within NAB’s two existing data centers, and for implementing IBM’s Infrastructure on Demand platform model,” the paper by NAB said.

“IBM is slated to build out the new data center in the same manner, and will manage the migration of existing functionality into the new facility.”

According to IBM NAB senior manager for Data Center Transformation Tim Palmer, the model allows the bank to react with demand, which will lead to more efficient use of the Bank’s IT resources.

“NAB is now purchasing ‘resource units’ from IBM, scaling functionality up or down as per demand. In the former model, data centers consume a lot more electricity and physical space than is necessary, and require IT staff to manage and maintain a higher number of servers than required,” Palmer said.

“The new model allows NAB to reduce its carbon footprint to a level of support that matches actual customer demand and service expectations.”

Back in February, the bank signed a long-term data center lease for 5,000 sq m of space in Digital Realty’s new Melbourne facility, which at that stage had just broken ground.

The NAB predicts that its new data center will have a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) rating of 1.35, which is “a very significant reduction from the 2.1 PUE for NAB’s current data center”.

It said it is relying heavily on virtualization technology for this, with 90% of its servers being virtualized across the company by the time the data center goes live.

It is also moving its facilities on to the gas-fuelled tri-generation system built at the data center site.

The bank said this not only reduces its reliance of coal-generated electricity but transmission losses by eliminating the distance the electrical feed needs to travel.

“The supply of high-temperature heat first powers a generator, which in turn produces low-temperature waste heat that is suitable for both heating and cooling data centers,” the NAB said.

“NAB’s tri-generation facility is an on-site, natural gas-driven generator that supplies one of NAB’s existing strategic data centers with over 60% of its total energy requirements. Tri-generation reduces carbon emissions by approximately 20,000 tons per year, and accounts for a 10% reduction in NAB’s overall Australian carbon footprint.”

NAB Group executive for the Group Business Services unit Gavin Slater said: “We face challenges to our goal of reducing energy use, in particular from our data centers, as energy consumption from these operations continues to grow to meet increasing demand for data processing capability.”

The NAB hopes this paper released through the ODCA will be used as reference for other companies looking to transform their data center environment with carbon reductions in mind.

One of the ODCA’s published usage models covers Carbon Footprint for services delivered through the Cloud.

Corresponding with the release of the NAB whitepaper, which can be accessed from the ODCA site, it released new interoperability-focused usage models looking at Platform-as-a-Service and Software-as-a-Service which detail expectations for market delivery of services.


Related images

  • Carbon neutral: NAB. Image courtesy of the Creative Commons

Have your say

Please view our terms and conditions before submitting your comment.

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save


  • Overhead Power Distribution – Best Practice in Modular Design

    Tue, 10 Nov 2015 16:00:00

    Overhead power distribution in your data center offers many attractive possibilities but is not without its challenges. Join UE Corp’s Director of Marketing, Mark Swift, and CPI’s Senior Data Center Consultant, Steve Bornfield, for an exploration of the options and some of the pitfalls, supported by real-life examples from the field.

  • Overcoming the Challenges of High Power Density Deployments

    Wed, 4 Nov 2015 19:00:00

    Increasing rack power densities saves space and energy, and improves both OPEX and CAPEX. But it can also create unintended problems that could bring your data center to a screeching halt. Join Raritan’s VP of Products & Marketing, Henry Hsu, and DCD’s Head of Research, Kevin Restivo, as they reveal the three key challenges in deploying a high density cabinet, and explain how to: reduce operating costs, Increase up-time , Improve mean time to repair, become more energy-efficient manage existing capacity and plan for growth.

  • Squeezing the Lemon - The Power to do More with Less

    Tue, 20 Oct 2015 08:00:00

    Energy costs rising, manpower resources falling – managing a data center is getting more stressful by the day. One cold night could be all it takes to tip your power supply over the edge. And let's not forget the never-ending demands from IT for additional space. More information on its own is not the answer. Join Rittal's webinar to understand how to: • Lower your power consumption and OPEX charges, with 'smart' power distribution • Identify issues before they become problems, with intelligent PDUs' monitoring capabilities • Expand your DC as your business grows, with modular PDUs • Profile your power requirements to help you plan and make better-informed decisions REGISTER NOW Note: All attendees will receive a free copy of the latest White Paper from Rittal.

  • Live Customer Roundtable: Optimizing Capacity (12:00 EST)

    Tue, 8 Sep 2015 16:00:00

    The biggest challenge facing many data centers today? Capacity. How to optimize what you have today. And when you need to expand, how to expand your capacity smarter. Learn from the experts about how Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) and Prefabricated Modular Data Centers are driving best practices in how capacity is managed and optimized: - lower costs - improved efficiencies and performance - better IT services delivered to the business - accurate long-range planning Don;t miss out on our LIVE customer roundtable and your chance to pose questions to expert speakers from Commscope, VIRTUS and University of Montana. These enterprises are putting best practices to work today in the only place that counts – the real world.

  • Power Optimization – Can Your Business Survive an Unplanned Outage? (APAC)

    Wed, 26 Aug 2015 05:00:00

    Most outages are accidental; by adopting an intelligent power chain, you can help mitigate them and reduce your mean-time to repair. Join Anixter and DatacenterDynamics for a webinar on the five best practices and measurement techniques to help you obtain the performance data you need to optimize your power chain. Register today!

More link