Inside HP Labs: 8 cool projects

On tap: A color thesaurus, photonics, and book and magazine publishing

Sustainable data center: The goal of the sustainable data center project at HP Labs is to find out how future data centers can be self-sustaining -- rather than consuming more energy, they would manage the energy systems of an entire building or even a city and pay for IT many times over. The five areas of sustainability, according to HP, are energy savings -- with a 25% to 40% reduction in costs -- resiliency, increased efficiency (such as higher rack operating temperatures), computer air-conditioning consolidation and better flexibility.

The idea is to provide much better information about real-time energy usage in a data center and adjust service-level agreements to meet specific demands. Today, data centers usually provide more capacity than business units need, to make sure there are no outages.

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