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VMware builds green facility, releases SRM 4

Virtualization software maker VMware has announced the opening of its first “green” data center, located in East Wenatchee, Washington. While details of the data center were not offered with the press release, previous reports indicate that the building occupies anywhere between 61,000 and 100,000 square feet. This announcement coincided nicely with VMware’s revealing of an updated disaster recovery mechanism for virtualized data center components in its vCenter Site Recovery Manager 4 software.

VMware was running out of data center capacity to support the rapid expansion of our research and development facilities. So, we decided to practice what we preach, and create the gold standard for a green, energy efficient data center that combines sustainable hydroelectric power with virtualization and other best practices. By utilizing a non-proprietary data center design, the facility is one that virtually any enterprise or government agency can build. And we are committed to using the lessons learned in the design and development of our data center to help our customers achieve similar benefits.

Mark Egan, VMware

The “green” adjective used in the announcement is thanks to the practices used in both early development and build-out and general energy efficiency tactics employed by VMware. The company says they are aiming for a score of between 1.2 and 1.5 according to the Green Grid efficiency metric and has already prepared and submitted an application for LEED platinum certification from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).

Expectations for return on investment sit at a rosy forecast of $5 million per year between a full $4 million in energy savings and $1 million in consolidation costs, setting the stage for yet another successful green data center and serving as an excellent example to other firms working towards their own energy-efficient facilities. The VMware facility utilizes several pieces of state-of-the-art technology such as airside economizers to provide free cooling using outside air and the exclusive use of hydroelectric power. Innovative ideas like using hot air expelled from running servers to heat office areas increase the energy savings, launching Vmware into the elite group of technology firms that have taken strong action against over-usage and waste.

The news-grabbing headlines surrounding the data center opening came side-by-side with a VMware announcement of another kind as they announced the release of Site Recovery Manager 4, a software suite designed for maximum compatibility with the vSphere 4 cloud operating system. This latest release (actually version 2.0; the “4” is meant to indicate the vSphere 4 compatibility) includes features to allow for easy data recovery through the duplication and moving of a virtual machine and also promises to function as a mediator during data center migration.

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