Verizon Wireless: On the Hunt for Latest and Greatest Technologies for its New Data Centers

This audio was created using Microsoft Azure Speech Services

Verizon Wireless, naturally, has a number of data centers and is in the process of building more. Like many others, the company is also concerned about energy efficiency so pays close attention to the latest ways to wring more efficiency out of a data center.

In fact, a Verizon Wireless data center in Twinsburg, Ohio was the winner of the 2012 Green Enterprise IT (GEIT) Award at the seventh annual Uptime Institute Symposium in Santa Clara, Calif.  Here’s a bit from the Verizon Wireless web site describing the data center:

Designed from the ground up with a focus on the environment, the Twinsburg Data Center spans 140,000 square feet and features energy-saving technologies, including warm water cooling, high efficiency pumps and fans, and LED lighting.  In addition to an aggressive materials recycling program, the center utilizes heat from computers to warm the building and melt snow in winter around the facility.  Melted snow is cleaned and recycled and used to provide water in building lavatories or to supplement the cooling system.

Against this backdrop, it should be no surprise, then, that Brad Thalwitzer, LEED AP and Principal Engineer with the Verizon Wireless National Network Operations team, was at the recent 2014 AHR Expo in New York, checking out the “latest and greatest” products for some new data centers the company is building.

While careful not to endorse any company – that’s a corporate no-no – he was in the Schneider Electric booth checking out demonstrations of tools including EcoStream, the computational fluid dynamics tool that is a module of Schneider Electric’s StruxtureWare data center infrastructure management software.

“We’re looking at some CFD modeling tools, some refrigerant-based cooling products, we’re checking out the latest and greatest air handlers and cooling towers,” Thalwitzer said. “We’re here to see everything and try to absorb all the new technologies that are out there.”

He said Verizon Wireless is building “at least a couple” more data centers and faces challenges including “figuring out what’s real and what’s not,” in terms of energy efficiency.

Asked what he considers to be some of the biggest advances in terms of energy efficiency, he mentioned getting cooling systems closer to the IT equipment, so they use less fan power. “That’s one of the biggest,” Thalwitzer said, echoing a topic we’ve written about many times on this site, including here and here.

Verizon Wireless is also using economizer technology to aid in cooling, typically water side models. “We have many different technologies in our data centers,” he said.

Check out the short video above for the complete interview.

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