Emerson’s state-of-the-art global data center recently celebrated its one-year anniversary with another day of uninterrupted IT operations and zero unplanned downtime. Equipped throughout with products and solutions from Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson and the global leader in enabling Business-Critical Continuity, the data center has maintained 100 percent availability since going online in the summer of 2009.

The spotless availability record is one of many notable Year One achievements for the global data center, located on the campus of the company’s corporate headquarters in St. Louis. After transitioning IT operations to the new facility, Emerson closed large data centers in Chicago and Cincinnati and is on the verge of closing a legacy data center on the St. Louis campus. These and other moves helped the organization reduce data center power consumption by more than 50 percent and floor space by about 75 percent.

Those reductions in power and floor space consumption should grow as Emerson continues with a global data center consolidation project that will reduce its total number of data centers from more than 100 to just four.

“We’re pleased with the results of the project to this point and continue to have high expectations going forward,” said Todd Finders, Emerson’s director of global data center services. “The decisions we made in designing our global data center were made with availability and efficiency in mind and with the shared understanding that sacrificing one for the other was not acceptable.

“We’ve had a few instances where the utility power went out or some other type of power issue took place, but the facility responded exactly the way it’s supposed to respond,” Finders said. “The Liebert UPS systems, ASCO power transfer switches and all the other Emerson Network Power equipment performed flawlessly.”

The facility’s unique 7,800-sq-ft rooftop solar array produced an average of 11,400 kVAh per month during the first year, with a peak of 14,250 in July. To put that in perspective, the array generated enough energy during its first 12 months to power nine average homes for a year. There is a tangible environmental impact as well; that same amount of power from the grid would have generated greenhouse gases equivalent to the year-long operation of 20 cars.

The solar array, energy-efficient design and building practices that diverted 80 percent of construction waste from landfills were among the factors that helped the global data center earn LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council-a rare distinction for a data center-and a 2009 Beyond Green award from the Sustainable Buildings Industry Council. Additionally, Emerson and its Global Data Center recently received a “Heroes of the Planet” award in the “Sustainable Business Operations” category from the St. Louis Business Journal.