Growth in IT infrastructure driven by socio-economic demand for services has led to the creation of large data centers. There is a need for cost-effective and sustainable design and management of such data centers. From this perspective, evolutionary changes in the regulatory and operational climate of traditional electrical and energy utilities has created new opportunities for development of data centers with low TCO and environmental footprint. These opportunities primarily exist on developing unique supply-side architectures for delivery of power, water and other resources to service data centers. Concurrent emergence of smaller heat and power generating systems also provides novel options to create solutions that improve the reliability and scalability of supply-side infrastructures in data centers. In this paper we investigate the impact of combined heat and power generation in operation of data centers in reducing TCO and environmental footprint and improving operational reliability. Usage of natural resources like water, fuel is minimized to create a low footprint IT infrastructure. Through use of mix of on-site power generation technologies alongside energy and water storage we create a power, cooling and water microgrid for the data center. Such microgrids are a promising way to capture the significant potential of smaller distributed energy resources to meet growing demands for low footprint IT infrastructures.

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