Info on AOL's Energy Star Data Center.....

AOL is committed to conducting its business in ways that minimize its impact on the environment through a variety of initiatives.

AOL's most significant energy consumption comes from the data centers which are home to the servers and switches that both host information and route messages globally.

Recognizing this carbon footprint impact, AOL has made significant -- and award-winning -- strides in creating reliable, sustainable and energy-efficient data centers. Comparisons with external benchmarks have shown that AOL has a sustainable model for minimizing energy consumption in the data centers.

AOL has installed features in its buildings to automatically turn off lights, manage heating and air conditioning and provide other conservation measures, where possible. Fluorescent lights are used wherever appropriate and where the types are available, low-mercury fluorescent lights or LED lights are used. All the Dulles campus buildings (over 1/2 million square feet) have been certified to Energy Star Standards, a joint certification between the U.S. Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency.

For years, AOL has participated in the EPA's "Energy Star" program which activates the low power "sleep" feature on computers and monitors. It is estimated that the activation of this feature on AOL computers prevents up to 30 tons of CO2 emissions annually. AOL also promotes this program to its users, saving members an average of $50 in energy costs per year.

The following are some of the reasons that AOL received an Energy Star Certification:

· AOL improved its data floor monitoring and chiller efficiency to better match the required cooling of the data floor with the computer room AC units; this measurement system allowed some of the AC units to be turned off at low-load times

· At the Dulles Tech Center, AOL retrofit the HVAC system with variable frequency drive motors, which resulted in increased energy efficiency

· Across the suite of Dulles campus buildings and technology centers, these cost effective and energy efficient improvements have saved AOL more than $7 million in energy costs

AOL's energy awards include:

2011 - the Uptime Institutes's Green Enterprise IT Award in the category of "Date Center Innovation" for its Cloud Computing initiative. Cloud Computing saves AOL almost $1 MM yearly, and reduces our carbon footprint by 8,440 metric tons. The Uptime Institute is a data center think tank for global companies.
2010 - AOL was named a first place winner for the Platinum Green Business Award, Large Business Category at the Loudoun Green Business Challenge, an event held for businesses with operations in Loudoun County, Va.
2009 - AOL was listed as one of the United States' "Global Green 100" companies
2009 - AOL won the Uptime Institute's Green Enterprise IT Award in the category of "Data Center Energy Efficiency Improvement: IT"
Everyone probably has a general idea of what a data center is, but the fact that this particular data center is ENERGY STAR labeled means a lot.  To begin with, it means that the building is amongst the 25% most efficient data centers in the country.  On average an ENERGY STAR labeled building uses 35% less energy than other buildings of the same type.  The ENERGY STAR program provides tools and guidance to help building owners and operators reduce their energy costs and lessen their environmental impact.  Attached is an example of the kind of guidance that is provided to data center owners.  Information is available for all different types of buildings, please go to http://www.energystar.gov/ for more information.  It is both my personal and professional recommendation that everyone should actively seek out the ENERGY STAR program as it is truly an excellent opportunity to use existing resources to your advantage and avoid re-inventing the wheel.
 
In addition to the basic facts above, it is worthy of note that there are only 26 ENERGY STAR labeled data centers in the entire United States of America.  In Virginia, there are only two.  Both of the ENERGY STAR labeled data centers in Virginia are owned and operated by AOL.  The following is an excerpt from the AOL website: 
"AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) is a brand company, committed to continuously innovating, growing, and investing in brands and experiences that inform, entertain, and connect the world. The home of a world-class collection of premium brands, AOL creates original content that engages audiences on a local and global scale. We help marketers connect with these audiences through effective and engaging digital advertising solutions."
The AOL leadership team is a diverse and interesting group about which AEE-NCC members might wish to learn more.  Please go to http://corp.aol.com/about-aol/leadership to investigate.  In particular, Curtis Brown - AOL Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer since May 10, 2012 is pertinent to our tour since it is he who is the leader of all AOL's technology strategies.  Having the strategy of doing the same work with less energy sounds like exactly what the Association of Energy Engineers is all about.  In addition, our host, Mr. Shawn Kane - Senior Manager at AOL has been absolutely instrumental to the success of AOL with its data centers.  Mr. Kane is the listed contact point for AOL in the ENERGY STAR data base and it is he who has performed the work necessary to be formally recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency with the ENERGY STAR label.  Furthermore, it is Mr. Kane who has secured the tour for our group.
 
There will be more details to follow.  Mr. Kane has asked to wait until December or early January to finalize all the details of the tour and the program that we will be presented with.  If there is interest in specific information, now is the time to prepare questions or to make requests regarding areas of interest to the membership.  The address of the data center is below:
 
AOL Dulles Data Center
22080 Pacific Blvd
Ashburn, VA 20166
 
For those of you familiar with Loudoun County, this is just north of Dulles airport, and is just west of Route 28.  There should be no difficulty in finding the location.  In addition, there are several nearby restaurants that could serve as a venue for part of the meeting if there is interest.  My recommendation would be Bertucci’s http://www.bertuccis.com/about-us/, which is just down the road, fewer than 3 miles away and which offers private dining service.  The contact information for the restaurant is:

 Bertucci's Ashburn, 44042 Pipeline Plaza, Ashburn, VA 20147, Phone: 703-858-5400
(from John Lord on 10/10/12)

 

We look forward to having you join us for this very tour and box luncheon. Please bring your business cards as our events and meetings offer an excellent opportunity for networking!



Please join us for a very special program tour of AOL's award winning, Energy Star Data Center, in Loudoun County, Virginia -- on Tuesday, January 22nd.

AOL has just earned Energy Star certifications for its Virginia data centers, Dulles and Manassas, the only two data centers in the state with this distinction. This accomplishment means the buildings perform in the top 25% nationwide for energy efficiency and they meet strict energy efficiency performance levels set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy under the Energy Star program. Commercial buildings that earn EPA's Energy Star certification use an average of 35% less energy than typical buildings and release 35% less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Given the power density requirements specific to data centers, an organization-wide commitment to energy conservation and efficiency is required to successfully earn the Energy Star certification. Earlier this year, AOL also won Uptime Institute awards for data center and IT efficiency.

You must register by January 14th to participate in this tour .Click on the link below to register or to get more information. Box lunches will be included. We can only accept checks or cash at the door.

January 22: AOL's Energy Star Data Center Tour