Greenfield data centers announced by large concerns such as Apple and Facebook, as well as additional colo and managed space built by Phoenix Nap (you can take a virtual tour of this  facility  at and Digital Realty Trust signal that demand for data center space remains strong. Facebook, which announced that it would build a significant space in Pineville, OR, also announced that it would aim to achieve a PUE of 1.15 and utilize free cooling for about 60-70% of its operating hours.

Enthusiasm for green leadership is not limited to proprietary data centers. On January 11th, Digital Realty announced that its 1525 Comstock facility had earned LEED Platinum rating. "Digital Realty Trust continues to be at the forefront of industry efforts to make datacenters more energy efficient and sustainable. We have achieved more green certifications for our facilities than any other company in the datacenter industry, and we continue to apply our expertise in energy-efficient design and operations to the benefit of our customers," said Jim Smith, CTO of Digital Realty Trust. "Most data center companies approach being green by focusing on issues such as PUE. Digital Realty Trust takes a more comprehensive approach by ensuring the sustainability of construction practices, the re-use of existing buildings and energy efficient design principles to complement our facilities' low PUE ratings."

Jim could have been speaking for almost any responsible data center operator, although he is largely correct in pointing out that energy is the focus of green efforts in the data center space. In almost every issue, Mission Critical presents case histories describing efforts to make IT services more energy efficient; less common are sustainable projects that look beyond energy efficiency and reliability.

When sophisticated operations take the time to incorporate energy-efficiencies and sustainable features, they set an example for others. Not only, however, do they set an example, they pave the way for smaller operations to take similar measures by proving the case for new technologies, setting establishing baselines, and bringing down the price of applying energy-efficent and sustainable technologies and techniques. I have used this space previously to applaud companies for sharing their secret sauce.

Google, which has been all over the news lately for its efforts to deter Chinese hackers, previously made news for its efforts in this area. We documented their efforts in a feature in our last issue; even skeptics who pointed out that Google is unique credited their efforts to be energy efficient. Most, I think, had to agree that Google's activities tended to demystify energy-efficiency technologies.

I agree that Google is one of just a few firms that could aim to create a large, highly reliable, low PUE facility. The perceived cost and difficulty of creating a highly reliable, low PUE facility probably motivates some IT operations to embrace SaaS or colo providers. Smaller IT operations are already overwhelmed; discussions of cloud technology and worries about reliability and security only add to the pressure of getting things right.

Mission Critical exists to meet this need for information. If you are reading this blog, I know you are interested in improving reliability, lowering PUE, or both, at a facility. You'll probably also want to attend our special webinar series on Building a Greenfield Data Center, to be held on March 17th, April 15th, and May 13th. I'll be announcing speakers soon, but set these dates aside as I am expecting more than 4-hours of presentations from industry experts with considerable time set aside for q&a.

Other groups can help as well. In a move I thought very significant, Data Center Pulse and The Green Grid agreed on January 15th to collaborate on data center challenges. The Green Grid is a global consortium dedicated to developing and promoting energy efficiency for data centers and business computing systems. They have amassed a rich mixture of manufacturers, service providers, and end user members representing over 175 global companies.

Data Center Pulse is a global end user community of Data Center owners and operators focused on influencing the industry through the eyes of the customer. DCP is an exclusive end-user only group with over 1350 members in 55 countries touching over 100 industries. They reach a significant population of data center customers ranging from single rack to some of the largest data centers in the world.

This new relationship will enable The Green Grid to quickly and effectively reach a significant end user population to help validate and direct their overall efficiency and standards work. It will also allow Data Center Pulse members to have a direct conduit into the important work that The Green Grid is leading.

This is the large collaboration of its sort in the last few minutes, as the purchase of The Uptime Institute by the 451 Group promises to give that organization the ability to take a more holistic view of the data center.

Look for more to come.