This is a guest post from Larry Dignan. You can read the original article on Larry’s blog Between the Lines on TechRepublic’s sister site ZDNet.

Google is known as a search titan, but its real business is running data centers. On Wednesday, Google handed out a few key tips as it touted its data center efficiency and sustainability efforts.

datacenter2.pngIn a blog post, Google’s senior vice president of operations Urs Hölzle outlined the energy its data centers use overall.

Google also detailed its five-step plan to make data centers more efficient. It’s a must-read for anyone involved with data centers. Google could fork over a little more detail, but there are a handful of tips that you can take back to your enterprise.

Also see: Google makes waves and may have solved the data center conundrum

Among the key points:

  • Downsize servers so you only use what you need. For instance, Google servers don’t have graphic chips. Why? You don’t need them. Going minimalist lowers energy consumption.
  • Use evaporated water to conserve energy and reduce the time that the coolers run. Here’s how it works:
  • Water management is key. Google outlines how it uses recycled water whenever possible. The company notes:

By the end of 2008, two of our facilities will run on 100% recycled water, and by 2010 we expect recycled water to provide 80% of our total water consumption. The idea behind this is simple: instead of wasting clean, potable water, use a dirty source of water and clean it just enough so it can be used for cooling. Cooling water still needs to be processed, but it’s much easier to treat it enough for data center use compared to cleaning it for drinking use.

  • Sixty eight percent of retired server materials are repurposed at Google.