While writing this column, I began to wonder if I am the only one who has noticed that for better or worse, Facebook’s “Open Kimono” policy is directly or indirectly challenging the industry to green-up. This effect is evidenced by Facebook’s announcement of its water usage effectiveness (WUE) results and the myriad of details about its latest data center designs on opencompute.org. While Facebook is not the first or only organization to publish very low PUE numbers, it is the first to release its WUE figures.
Of course, not everyone can or wants to build or operate a Facebook/Open Compute style data center, which is hyper-focused on ultra-low PUE numbers, but does not include a high level of facility-based redundancy. In point of fact, these are effectively only Tier-1 data centers, yet they operate and deliver reasonably robust and reliable services, primarily because of their multi-site redundancy and their IT architecture’s inherent ability to failover to an alternate site relatively seamlessly, just as internet firms such as Google and Yahoo are able to do.