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Google opts for battery backup over UPS: News in brief

In today's news in brief, Google ditches uninterruptible power supply for battery-based backup, reveals use of containerized data centers and more.

Google opts for battery backup over UPS 
Google has eschewed a centralized uninterruptible power supply (UPS) in favor of onboard, 12-volt battery backups on each of its custom-built data center servers. That was the highlight of the Google Efficient Data Center Summit at its Mountain View, Calif. facility Tuesday. Google also confirmed long-held rumors that it uses container-based data centers and has done so since 2005.

The onboard battery backup allows custom Google servers to gain efficiencies of 99.9%, higher than the 92% to 95% that high-efficiency centralized UPSes get today, and much higher than traditional UPSes that can easily be 20% less efficient. The company said it might license the patented technology to vendors.

Google officials said they hadn't shared details about their data centers and servers before because there wasn't a lot of interest in energy efficiency.

Google's data center containers typically have more than 1,100 servers and can use up to 250 kilowatts of power. Google's container-based data center packs in 45 containers, running on 10 megawatts of power capacity and using waterside economizers and a cold-aisle temperature in the containers of 81 degrees Fahrenheit for maximum efficiency. The power usage effectiveness (PUE) for this data center is in the 1.25 range, according to Google.

Speaking of Google patents … 
Chris Russell, a Google data center manager argued this week that outdated patent law hinders companies like Google, Microsoft, Intel and HP from protecting their patents and often leads to "huge settlement payments, even when alleged infringements are trivial." Russell, who manages Google's Council Bluffs, Iowa data center, wrote a guest column in the Des Moines Register . A bill proposed by Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Republican Orrin Hatch of Utah make the proposed changes that these tech giants want.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Mark Fontecchio, News Writer. You can also check out our Mainframe blog.

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