NetApp and VMware have each built highly efficient new data centres designed to provide millions of dollars of savings on energy costs each year, the vendors announced separately this week.

NetApp built a 132,000-square-foot facility in North Carolina, which will house the bulk of its engineering operations and provide a disaster recovery site. With average temperatures of 74 degrees Fahrenheit, and efficient ways of delivering cool air to machines, the $45 million building's energy costs will be about $7.3 million less per year than a data center with average efficiency, according toNetApp.

"This is one of the most efficient data centres in the world," says NetApp founder Dave Hitz. "We did this using very innovative design, but mostly off-the-shelf components. This is a style of building data centres that pretty much anyone can do. It's normal stuff, just configured well."

The NetApp data centre has a PUE (power usage effectiveness) rating of 1.2. That means for each watt of power used by IT equipment, an additional two-tenths of a watt is needed to distribute power to and cool that equipment. A typical PUE is about 2.0.

VMware's new data centre, in East Wenatchee, Washington, will have a PUE between 1.2 and 1.5, and save the company about $4 million a year in energy costs, VMware said. The VMware data centre uses hydroelectric power, airside economisers to take advantage of cool outside air, a hot aisle containment strategy and virtualisation to meet its efficiency goals, the company said.

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