Data center efficiency at Reed Elsevier

Stephanie Singer, VP, Global Data Center Facilities & Service Continuity

When it comes to running RE data center facilities, we are constantly exploring ways to minimize our environmental impact.  We scrutinize every upgrade and modification to ensure we provide high availability data center facilities at the most efficient level possible, thereby reducing Reed Elsevier’s total cost of operation for our online services.  We do this through the mechanical & electrical systems supporting the data centers and the IT systems via virtualization and consolidation to ensure we are maximizing RE’s resources and investments. It’s wonderful to be part of such an amazing group of focused people who value making a difference to minimize the environmental impact of our company and employees.

At Reed Elsevier, data center efficiency is critical around the globe, 24 hours each day. In 2013, 66% of our revenue came from online products and services. This was nearly mirrored in energy use at our data centers, now responsible for 47% of total energy usage (offices account for 47% and warehouses 6%). We leverage all opportunities to improve efficiency including space redesign and upgrades to electrical, air handling and cooling systems and hardware. It’s great that Reed Elsevier values corporate responsibility with a large focus on the environmental footprint we have across the globe.

The Green Grid’s Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) metric has become the industry-preferred metric for measuring infrastructure energy efficiency for data centers.  PUE looks at the total energy supplied to a data center, divided by the amount of energy that actually reaches the IT equipment. It reveals how much energy is expended on cooling systems and other noncompute functions. We’re pleased to report that at RE, our PUE metric is better than average.

In 2013, the average PUE across all of our major data centers improved from 1.70 in 2012 to 1.68.  These improvements were driven by a strong and knowledgeable team of engineers who are constantly focusing on gaining energy efficiencies while maintaining 100% facility availability.

In addition to a heavy day to day focus on running efficient data centers, the corporate focus inspired to me to step up as the executive sponsor of the Dayton site campus green team to make a larger impact.  The local team works hard to promote alternative transportation, gardening for a local non-profit, awareness campaigns and a focused effort on recycling. 

I’m excited about a pilot that we will be rolling out on the Dayton campus soon to step up our recycling and align with the RE environmental targets.  The local green team works tirelessly in cleaning near-by river beds during the year and 4 times a year, we have volunteers cleaning the roadside in front of our campus and extending over a mile south through our Adopt-A-Highway program.