Practice what you preach. Walk the walk, don’t just talk the talk. Drink your own champagne. We have all heard them. Now at Schneider Electric, the modernization of our own data centers is becoming our best marketing asset. Recognizing the need to be a green role model, a few months ago we began an 18-month journey to consolidate, centralize, and virtualize Schneider’s data centers.
Through continued growth and several acquisitions, Schneider Electric’s North American IT environment has become very complex in recent years. Like many companies striving for energy efficiency, we started with an assessment of our data center profile. With 2500 servers in 80 locations, our low virtualization provided a key opportunity to live the vision that we sell to our customers. However, moving from complexity to simplicity is not as easy as it sounds.
Our voyage began with the move of our Lexington data center to our St. Louis data center. This environment supports a $4B section of our North American Business. Our first project had hurdles to overcome: complex application landscape, aged disparate systems, and mixed IT environments. Lexington’s infrastructure, including a mainframe and 450 Wintel/Aix servers was quite dated. The new environment we built in St. Louis, including a highly “Schneiderized” V-Block, enabled virtualization and stronger energy management. The move allowed us to take a more homogeneous approach to servers and ensure that we fully “Schneiderized” at every level of equipment, thus drinking our own champagne.
During the first phase, we determined the carbon footprint pre-consolidation of both the Lexington and St. Louis sites. Post consolidation, the power consumption was calculated using the same approach and then comparing to actual power measurements from St. Louis. This not just gave us a benchmark, but also validated the approach.
We were very excited by the resulting improvements in energy efficiency: a 36% improvement in PUE (power usage effectiveness) and a 38% improvement IM power consumption, gave us a combined improvement of 61%. In other terms, this equates to an annual saving of 2,958,956 pounds of carbon dioxide.
That number has even greater impact when you put it into context of how that savings could be used. Three million pounds of carbon dioxide equates to:
- Driving an average car for 6.05 years non-stop, or taking 267 cars off the road for a year
- Lighting a 13-watt CF light bulb for almost 11,974 years continuously
- Using a 42-inch LCD TV for 932 years
- Powering an average house for 105 years
As we continue this journey and repeat these improvements in our other data centers, we will continue to focus on underlying fundamental goals: to modernize and be greener. Through this, Schneider Electric not only promotes responsible energy management, but practices it as well. We will keep you in the loop as we make this transformation.