Union Pacific: With updated equipment, capacity rises and power use drops
Its computing capacity soars, yet this railway, ranked No. 9, draws down its power consumption.
Computerworld - Environmental stewardship is deeply ingrained in the corporate culture at Union Pacific Railroad Co., and implementing green-IT systems plays a central role in the railroad's efforts to conserve energy.
Since 2000, the Omaha-based company has spent about $6 billion on new, environmentally friendly locomotives. It has also retired more than 2,300 older, less fuel-efficient trains and overhauled almost 3,200 diesel engines to run cleaner and more efficiently. Recycling is encouraged at all locations, and energy efficiency was a critical consideration when the company built a new 19-story corporate headquarters facility.
But it is the building that houses Union Pacific's data center that has been a focal point of its most recent green efforts. The data center has allowed the railway to accommodate significant growth in servers and disk capacity. Since 2008, the company has increased its computing capacity by about 200% and its disk storage capacity by about 700%.
During the same period, however, power consumption in the center actually decreased by about 14%. "We made a concerted effort to reduce energy consumption," says Lynden Tennison, senior vice president and CIO. "We've done that by modernization of the equipment." For example, Union Pacific uses blade servers rather than older, large towers.
"Servers are typically responsible for around 40% of a data center's total electricity bill," says Doug Washburn, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc. "While sourcing more efficient servers, like blades, is one solution, IT managers need to focus on improving the utilization of their existing servers through decommissioning, consolidating and virtualizing."
The company has also deployed energy-efficient HVAC and building-automation controls, power management software and server virtualization systems, and it has revised its data center layout to reduce power demands. In addition, the railroad uses alternative energy supplies such as solar and wind to provide power to IT systems.
Violino is a freelance writer in Massapequa Park, N.Y. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More on Top Green-IT
Read more about Data Center in Computerworld's Data Center Topic Center.
- Silicon Valley's 19 Coolest Places to Work
- Is Windows 8 Development Worth the Trouble?
- 8 Books Every IT Leader Should Read This Year
- 10 Hot Hadoop Startups to Watch
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- ERP in the Cloud and the Modern Business View IDC's White Paper, to review IDC CloudTrack Survey findings, gain expert insight into the challenges and opportunities the cloud presents, and determine...
- Oracle ERP Cloud Service - Back-Office Solutions that Keep You in Front Learn how you can harness the power of the cloud to run your business more effectively and lower upfront costs.
- Integration with Oracle Fusion Financials Cloud Service While moving your financial system to the cloud may seem straightforward, truly realizing the advantages of the cloud requires a complete understanding how...
- Hadoop for Dummies Today, organizations in every industry are being showered with imposing quantities of new information. Along with traditional sources, many more data channels and...
- Live Webcast Best Practices: How to Improve Business Continuity with Virtualization VMware solutions include a range of business continuity capabilities to help ensure availability for applications across your virtualized environment. Learn More>>
- Cloud Knowledge Vault Learn how your organization can benefit from the scalability, flexibility, and performance that the cloud offers through the short videos and other resources...
- Endpoint Data Management: Protecting the Perimeter of the Internet of Things Not surprisingly, "Internet of Things" (IoT) and Big Data present new challenges AND opportunities for enterprise IT. Teams need to harness, secure and... All Data Center White Papers | Webcasts