New Data Center Features Breakthrough Green Technology

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Innovative cooling system and other advanced systems boost EasyStreet's data center energy efficiency beyond IT industry standards.

Oregon’s IT landscape just got greener with EasyStreet® Online Services Inc. unveiling its new commercial data center featuring breakthrough technologies to reduce energy consumption and increase sustainability for EasyStreet customers.

Data centers — secure facilities where companies house their computer and network infrastructures — are ravenous consumers of electricity. The federal Department of Energy puts their consumption at three percent of total U.S. electricity usage, amounting to 120 billion kilowatt hours per year, at a cost of $7.4 billion. Seeing consumption potentially doubling in the coming years, the federal government wants the IT industry to find ways to “bend the curve” and reduce consumption through greater energy efficiency.

“EasyStreet’s new data center will save 1,532,634 kilowatt hours per year,” EasyStreet president and CEO Rich Bader told a group of dignitaries and guests at the recent ribbon-cutting. “This savings is enough to power 153 average households a year, and it comes about after years of inventive design work by EasyStreet and a collection of some of the nation’s best IT and environmental engineering minds.”

The new 7,000-square-foot facility now serves as a blueprint for improved efficiency at other data centers in the state by contributing to the Oregon Department of Energy’s expertise in energy-efficient data center design. EasyStreet’s is the first data center to receive funding assistance through the Oregon Department of Energy’s Small Scale Energy Loan Program (SELP).

Implementing Advanced Technologies
Buying 100 percent Portland General Electric (PGE) Clean WindSM power offsets, EasyStreet claims a zero carbon footprint for its data center operations. Innovative technologies employed to augment energy efficiency include:

  • An Indirect Evaporative Cooling (IEC) system, which is key to efficiency and outstanding PUE. Supplemental Direct Expansion (DX) cooling units are expected to be needed only 180 hours per year.
  • A hot air containment system achieved via Chatsworth TeraFrame™ “chimney” equipment cabinets that duct into the cooling system. These cabinets gather hot exhaust air and route it to the roof for processing by the cooling units.
  • An extensive rainwater capture and filtering system that provides the majority of water needed for the IEC system. (EasyStreet procures Bonneville Environmental Foundation Water Restoration Certificates to offset 100 percent of the supplemental city water it uses.)
  • More efficient and reliable Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPSs) using Vycon flywheels as their power source instead of batteries. Flywheel technology is considered seven times more reliable than battery-powered systems. In addition, batteries need to be charged continuously and recycled every four years.

Even the parking lot at EasyStreet features a charging station for hybrid and all-electric vehicles for customers and employees

The new data center has a direct fiber path to the existing EasyStreet data center at 9705 SW Sunshine Court. The EasyStreet Network Operations Center (NOC) will monitor both facilities.

“EasyStreet’s goal is to provide services in a facility that is reliable, safe and secure, versatile, and responsible to the environment. The technologies we’ve employed here are good for the environment, yes — but the efficiencies gained also allow us to deliver the higher power density of 200 W per square foot (or 5 kW per cabinet) that our customers need,” said Bader.

The data center supports both colocation and Cloud services. “New options are driving sweeping change in Information Technology,” Bader said. “EasyStreet’s mission is to help organizations in the region manage their transition to The Cloud with our own Green CloudSM services.”

At EasyStreet’s recent ribbon-cutting event, Bob Repine, director, Oregon Department of Energy said, “This is a really great demonstration of efficiency in a commercial application. This is an example of the future. You have the opportunity to build that normal structure or shell. Or you have the opportunity to show that you are committed to creating a better environment. Doing the right things first — not the right things last.”

Balancing Efficiency and Performance
EasyStreet began operating in 1995 and is now Oregon’s leading independent managed hosting and colocation provider for businesses who want to outsource their data centers. Since 1999, EasyStreet has operated an earlier colocation data center at its Beaverton headquarters, adjacent to the new site. The two facilities — called DC1 and DC2 — are SAS 70 Type II-audited and operate independently. In another major energy-efficiency project, EasyStreet last year retrofitted DC1 with a hot/cold aisle containment and energy monitoring system that has been proven to save over 500,000 kW per year.

Among the dignitaries speaking at the ribbon-cutting for the new facility were Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle, Portland General Electric CEO Jim Piro, Oregon Department of Energy Director Bob Repine, Energy Trust of Oregon Programs Director Peter West, and Lorie Wigle of Intel’s Eco-Technology Program Office.

Lattice Semiconductor’s Acting Vice President of IT, Ron Yan, also spoke after Rich Bader announced that Lattice would be the first customer to occupy the new data center. Said Yan, “When Lattice was trying to select a data center provider, we weren’t looking for a vendor. We weren’t looking for a service provider. We were looking for a partner. Because a partner, for the lack of a better term, is someone we would like to grow old with. Good politics, good processes, and continuous, repeated wise decision-making — those are, unfortunately, rare things to find in the IT industry. I believe EasyStreet exhibits those qualities, and we look forward to a very long relationship together.”

During the ceremony, the Energy Trust of Oregon (ETO) presented EasyStreet with a $346,000 incentive check for its use of energy-saving technologies. Said ETO Programs Director Peter West, “This is a powerful project. There is a lot of intelligence, engineering and forethought in this project. This is how we work best with businesses — we were brought in early to get it right. And in this case, right is a spectacular set of energy savings.”

“Although our new data center design has gone through subsequent refinement, it was first conceived in late 2007, when an exceptional group of engineers, energy-efficiency consultants and other experts from around the nation gathered in Beaverton,” Bader recalled. “We wanted to achieve a data center design with the ideal balance between energy efficiency, affordability and performance. This data center is an important step toward our goal to be Oregon’s greenest IT services provider.”

Contributing to the initial design effort were Intel, IDC Architects, Heery International, Archinetix, Portland General Electric, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Stanford University Institute for the Environment, Oregon Department of Energy, Energy Trust of Oregon, U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR Program.

Customers Spared ‘Green Surcharge’
Because it has employed these energy-saving technologies, EasyStreet expects to spare its customers the steep rises in power costs often associated with data centers. This is possible because power costs rise slower when energy efficiency is higher.

“Although it may cost more to build than a conventional facility — and although renewable power will cost us a premium — the efficiencies gained by this design means we can provide our services with no ‘green surcharge’ to our customers,” Bader emphasized.

A formula known as Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) is the industry measure of data center efficiency. Developed by The Green Grid, an association of IT professionals, the formula compares power usage for servers and other primary equipment that directly handles data to total usage, which includes cooling systems, power supplies, lighting and other ancillary equipment.

If a data center were 100 percent efficient — with all power going exclusively to data handling — it would achieve a PUE of 1.0. However, the PUE of today’s typical data centers averages 2.0 to 2.5, indicating substantial inefficiencies. EasyStreet’s new data center includes a PUE monitoring system to continuously evaluate how efficiently it runs.

“EasyStreet’s new facility will have a PUE at or less than 1.3,” Bader said. “This is a blended average and not just the best PUE on a given day. We can achieve this excellent score because the new data center incorporates innovative technologies and methodologies designed to reduce energy consumption.”

EasyStreet will continue to procure 100 percent Portland General Electric Clean Wind power offsets, as it has for DC1. Said Portland General Electric CEO, Jim Piro, “EasyStreet is meeting a critical need, as companies are demanding 100 percent access, security and reliability for their essential operating data. Rich and his team have been very open to new ideas and very innovative in the things they’ve done. They are committed to sustainability — to reducing their environmental footprint while making it profitable at the same time. They’re always thinking about how to operate their facilities very green and very clean. But they’ve taken it a step further — they’re working with Energy Trust to take their ideas and concepts and move them throughout the state for other data centers. It’s not only ‘good for us’ — it’s good for the entire industry. They’re willing to share what they have learned.”

About EasyStreet
EasyStreet® Online Services is Oregon’s largest independent provider of corporate IT services to the Northwest region. EasyStreet’s team of professionals provides reliable, responsive and responsible services to hundreds of the area's leading organizations. EasyStreet offers a comprehensive range of IT infrastructure services that include managed hosting and cloud computing, server colocation and high-speed connectivity. EasyStreet has a long-standing commitment to sustainable practices and operates two energy efficient, zero carbon footprint data centers. Founded in 1995 and headquartered in Beaverton, Ore., EasyStreet is locally owned and managed and proud to be an active member of the metro community. For additional information, call (503) 646-8400 or visit


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