Wachovia Corp.

Wachovia Corp. has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions profile by 10% by 2010. The fastest way to reach that goal, executives have determined, is by reducing energy consumption -- and energy-guzzling IT operations have been one of the financial services firm's main targets.

In 2004, Wachovia's corporate and investment banking management team adopted a new mantra for technology deployment: Remove two or more things and replace them with one. The team started with DataSynapse Inc.'s GridServer resource-allocation product and then expanded into reusable SOA-based managed services for reporting, data transformation, application messaging, Web hosting, J2EE and file services.

"We had 15 unique reporting tools when we started," says Jacob Hall, vice president and head of platform design and data centers for corporate and investment banking. "We picked two off-the-shelf [applications] that we would build a managed service around."

Using managed services, power consumption was reduced by a factor of five.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based firm also determined that it had to get smarter about power consumption, heat dissipation and cooling in its data centers.

At Wachovia's 225,000-square-foot Birmingham, Ala., data center, IT staffers began with an efficient and dense computing deployment. New grid capacity was implemented using Verari Systems Inc.'s BladeRack 2, which features a chassis that can hold 61 servers. Because all the computers are in the chassis and they're vertically cooled (hot air rises to the top), Wachovia is able to cool the servers more efficiently.

These and other technologies will be deployed in the firm's new financial center, slated to open at the end of 2009. In addition to saving energy, they will help cut construction costs by up to $80,000.

The firm also plans to implement Hewlett-Packard Co.'s Dynamic Smart Cooling technology in the Birmingham data center and the new financial center.

"We will fully instrument and measure airflow and temperature at the rack level, with sensors being placed throughout the racks in the data center," explains Joe Stephenson, vice president of data center management. "The sensors will feed into our computer-room air conditioners and will modify those settings as needed." Stephenson says he expects to see a return on investment within five years.


Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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