Oregon Luminaries Recognize EasyStreet’s Sustainability Actions

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EasyStreet celebrates retrofit and expansion: Building the greenest managed hosting and colocation data center in Oregon

At a recent sustainability event, representatives from Energy Trust of Oregon presented EasyStreet® Online Services Inc. with a $65,000 incentive check for completing a major energy efficiency project that will save over 500,000 kW per year. EasyStreet also revealed progress on its new data center project, which the company believes will be the greenest managed hosting and colocation data center in Oregon.

EasyStreet Online Services is a provider of corporate IT services to the Northwest region from its data center located in Beaverton, Ore. EasyStreet has a long-standing commitment to sustainable practices, including a Platinum-level, 100 percent commitment to Portland General Electric’s (PGE) Clean WindSM program. With its data center nearing full capacity, the company challenged itself to save electricity by improving the efficiency of the cooling systems.

Through its relationship with PGE, EasyStreet found a willing partner in Energy Trust of Oregon. Energy Trust funded an engineering study that led to the design and implementation of a sophisticated hot and cold aisle containment system that enabled the computer room air conditioning (CRAC) units to run more efficiently. The project has been such a success that two of the six available CRAC units can be powered down for extended periods — saving EasyStreet over 524,000 kW a year — enough to power more than 50 average households.

The event brought together many of the region’s advocates and experts in sustainable energy and information technology, including Portland General Electric, Energy Trust of Oregon, the Oregon Department of Energy, the City of Beaverton and Intel Corp. to celebrate this milestone and acknowledge the unique cluster of technical and financial resources available to support Oregon-based organizations looking to improve their sustainable energy practices.

As he presented the incentive check to EasyStreet on behalf of Energy Trust, Business Sector Manager, Spencer Moersfelder, remarked, “Energy Trust sees data centers as an important sector for Oregon’s energy goals. Because data centers are such growing users of energy in Oregon, we see value for all consumers in helping customers like EasyStreet reduce their energy use. The result is simple: Big energy savings. Big benefit to the environment. Big benefit to the ratepayers of Oregon. We’re looking forward to helping EasyStreet continue to invest in energy efficiency and congratulate them on completing this energy project.”

Said EasyStreet President and CEO, Rich Bader, “In terms of Green IT, doing good while doing well is much easier than it was before. I believe that Oregon is unique in the nation because of the technical expertise and financial resources available that make it easier for other companies to do as we are doing. Most importantly, we hope to be an example for other data centers in the area that have the same challenges and the same opportunities — we hope they can achieve the same benefits that we have seen for our business.”

In congratulating EasyStreet on its green initiatives, Mayor Denny Doyle, City of Beaverton, said, “In Beaverton, we’re getting greener as we progress and EasyStreet is leading the way. We’re just beginning to celebrate the tremendous accomplishment you’re bringing to the region and to the state. Without IT and the support you provide, we cannot grow regionally or across the pond. The Internet has changed the world, as we all know.”

What makes EasyStreet’s new data center so green?
According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), U.S. data centers will draw roughly 120 billion kilowatt hours per year, costing $7.4 billion, by 2011 — or about 3 percent of the country's total electricity consumption. That DOE report, issued in 2007, challenged the industry to focus on sustainable and conservational energy practices and “bend the curve” from a forecast of doubled electricity usage over the next 5 years.

Lessons learned through the hot/cold aisle containment project enhanced EasyStreet’s plans for a new data center expansion scheduled for completion in Q4 2010. Designed to be a state-of-the-art example of an energy efficient facility, this is the first data center project to qualify for funding through the Oregon Department of Energy’s Small Energy Loan Program (SELP). EasyStreet has also applied for Business Energy Tax Credits (BETCs) and incentives from Energy Trust.

With 100 percent Portland General Electric (PGE) Clean Wind offsets, a unique Indirect Evaporative Cooling (IEC) system, rooftop rainwater reclamation and close coupled cooling equipment cabinets, the new data center has been engineered to not only achieve a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) better than 1.3, but will also deliver the high power density needed for modern servers.

Although EasyStreet’s new data center design has gone through subsequent refinement, an exceptional group of engineers, energy-efficiency consultants and other experts from around the nation gathered in Beaverton to participate in an intensive charrette to achieve a data center design with the ideal balance between energy efficiency, affordability and performance. In addition to EasyStreet, participants in the charrette included:

  • Intel® Corporation
  • IDC Architects
  • Heery International
  • Archinetix
  • Portland General Electric (PGE)
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)
  • The State of Oregon
  • Energy Trust of Oregon
  • The U.S. Department of Energy (Save Energy Now Program)
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® Program
  • Stanford Institute for the Environment (Stanford University)

Said Bader, “The new data center design is the culmination of everything we’ve learned about how to build an energy efficient facility. We believe that we are not only providing Northwest companies with a state-of-the art facility in terms of energy efficiency, but one that is highly reliable.”

Also speaking at the event was Jon Haas, a director in the Eco-Technologies Programs Office, part of the Data Center Group at Intel Corporation. Jon participates in the Green Grid as the Vice Chair of the Technical Committee, Chair of the Data Center Design Guide Workgroup and is on the Green Grid Board of Directors. Said Haas, “ACEEE (American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy) estimates that every watt we spend in IT saves four to ten watts out of the general economy. (Such as downloading a movie instead of going to the store to rent it.) With the foresight of Energy Trust, PGE and data center operators like EasyStreet, we can incent the correct behavior and create those opportunities in which we can go beyond what is typical to make it more efficient.

“When I look at a project like this — the retrofit project and the new data center — it’s testament to the fact that we have an infrastructure inside Oregon that allows these types of decisions and investments to be made.”

About EasyStreet
EasyStreet Online Services Inc. is Oregon's leading independent Managed Hosting and Colocation Services Provider. Its national-class data center and team of technical professionals provide reliable, responsive services and support, and ensure outstanding performance and scalability for more than 2,300 Northwest businesses. EasyStreet is dedicated to providing services for IT professionals, including high-speed Internet circuits (up to GigE), managed servers, colocation, monitoring, storage and hosted Microsoft® Exchange®. Founded in 1995 and headquartered in Beaverton, Ore., EasyStreet is locally owned and managed with a team of 40 employees. For additional information, call (503) 646-8400 or visit http://easystreet.com.

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