Green not just the colour of money for Deutsche Bank

Institution targets data centre carbon dioxide emissions

Deutsche Bank's Australian data centres are set for redevelopment as the German-based financial institutions continues its Green agenda on the global stage.

The bank plans to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by at least one third by 2012 and has an ongoing goal of reducing its global carbon foot print by 20 per cent per year. A number of factors including Deutsche Bank's IT supply chain, hardware recycling, end user efficiencies and data centre strategies have been targeted as key areas for efficiency improvements.

The bank is currently looking at how it get rids of the hot air in the data centres, chills the air and gets it back to the machines.

"Deutsche Bank is a high transaction business and our data centres are the engine room which facilitates day to day business. They are also a significant contributor to the overall CO2 emissions of the bank so we need to improve that," Deutsche Bank Australia's head of IT facilities, Greg Byrne, told delegates at a data centre conference in Sydney this week.

The bank has ruled out building its own data centres locally, considering them cost-prohibitive, but will instead look to improve the facilities it currently uses under colocation agreements with other organisations. Plans include retro fitting cooling devices in the centres to help ease the load on fans.

"We don't look at building out huge facilities from day one but look at what we can build in the short term and what gives us the most efficiency,” he said.

The bank has also made use of smart metering to understand how it distributes loads in its data centre environment, allowing Byrne and IT staff to provide greater detail to stakeholders on the potential impacts of data centres.

Statistics cited by Andrew McEachern, data centre manager at the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water, indicate data centres account for approximately 1.5 per cent of Australian greenhouse gas production, on par with the aviation industry.

Byrne said the inherent power inefficiencies of the bank's data centres had become a challenge, with up to eight per cent of power lost in transmission to the data centre. On top of this, only two per cent of the power that is sourced ends up running the bank applications on a day-to-day basis.

He added that the cost of cooling data centres also contributes to energy inefficiencies.

"If we look at the industry levels of power usage effectiveness (PUE) in data centres, we have a targeted level of PUE of about 1.6 per cent by 2012, that's across the whole global fleet," he said.

Deutsche Bank is not the only financial institution in the process of a data centre transformation. Westpac Australia recently signed a five year agreement with IBM to manage its new data centre and storage operations.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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