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Clarke Receives Grants to Green Award

By Clarke News  |  October 13, 2016

Clarke University was awarded a $25,000 Grants to Green grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque to implement a SmartRow All-in-One Datacenter, which will produce energy savings.

From 2014 to 2016, Grants to Green (G2G) helped nonprofit organizations become more sustainable by granting $1 million to fund energy improvement development projects.

Clarke’s current data center was designed and built in the 1980s to support a main frame computer system and a PBX.

Along with Clarke’s wider sustainability initiative, which includes the Petal Project and Tree Campus USA, the Keller Computer Center has downsized its data center into a hybrid cloud/virtual environment, removed dozens of servers, and covered/insulated the windows. These updates have drastically reduced the energy usage of the data center and reduced its physical footprint to a tiny fraction of its previous size.

Over the summer, the Clarke data center network infrastructure, which was installed in 2007, was replaced with new equipment with much lower power requirements and a smaller footprint. The final step in the “greening” of the data center is to remove the data center grade HVAC and UPS system followed by consolidating and installing a self-contained data center. This will reduce noise, increase space, and enhance security. When completed, significant physical space will be reclaimed and used to store, recycle or repurpose electronic/network/computer equipment.

The scope of the SmartRow project contains additional benefits. The SmartRow is a fully integrated row-based infrastructure with precision cooling, UPS integration, power management, monitoring and control technologies, as well as a fire suppression system. Environmental sensors provide real-time information on temperature and humidity, allowing the capacity to adapt to load changes. This reduces wasted power and cooling, ensuring Clarke will operate at the highest energy efficiency possible. The integrated high availability UPS offers a savings of more than 30% compared to an in-line interactive UPS system such as the one currently installed.