IT helps Australian bank achieve carbon-neutrality
National Australia Bank has adopted tri-generation, private cloud, modular data centres National Australia Bank (NAB), one of Australia's big four banks, has detailed how changes to its data centres helped the organisation to become carbon neutral in a white paper (PDF) issued by the Open Data Center Alliance. The bank says it has been carbon neutral since 2010, thanks in large part to work on its data centres, which account for 43% of all energy it consumes. Tri-generation, the practice of generating electricity, heating and cooling from one device, is one of the Bank's most important carbon-cutting initiatives. As the white paper explains: "NAB’s tri-generation facility is an on-site, natural gas-driven generator that supplies one of NAB’s existing strategic data centers with over 60% of its total energy requirements. Tri-generation reduces carbon emissions by approximately 20,000 tons per year, and accounts for a 10% reduction in NAB’s overall Australian carbon footprint. Emissions savings from this one project equate to emissions generated by 1,400 households. With the demands of its two strategic data centers equating to approximately 43% of NAB’s overall energy usage, efficiency savings are absolutely critical." A private cloud is also important to the Bank's efforts, and while the White Paper doesn't say just whose virtualisation or private cloud kit NAB uses, Oracle is named. It seems more likely, however, that IBM is running the show and providing servers as the document points out that “NAB is outsourcing the management of most of the company’s physical data center infrastructure to IBM.” Indeed, IBM appears to have serious skin in this game, as NAB says it is “now responsible for the hardware within NAB’s two existing data centers, and for implementing IBM’s “Infrastructure on Demand” platform model.” “NAB is now purchasing 'resource units' from IBM, scaling functionality up or down as per demand....
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