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Fundamental ways to reduce data center OPEX costs


By using virtualisation significant savings can be made, but Allied Telesis have even more ways to squeeze the …

By using virtualisation significant savings can be made, but Allied Telesis have even more ways to squeeze the
OPEX costs, further reducing both electricity and air-conditioning costs.

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  • 1. Fundamental Ways to Reduce Data Center OPEX Costs Melvyn Wray SVP of Product Marketing
  • 2. What are data center OPEX costs
      • Electricity costs
      • Licence costs
      • Maintenance costs
      • Labour costs
  • 3. Obvious electricity cost savings
      • Virtualization
      • Power efficiency
      • Air conditioning efficiency
  • 4. Virtualization
      • Reduces overall power consumption
      • With a high performance server consuming ~1kW, the power savings are large
      • Each server consumes ~£800 of electricity per annum (based on 10p per kW)
  • 5. Power efficiency
      • Select data center equipment with the highest power efficiency
        • Choose 90% over 80% efficiency
        • Inefficiency produces noise and heat
        • Heat requires air conditioning
  • 6. Air conditioning
      • Highly efficient air conditioning typically has an Energy Efficiency Ratio (ERR) of 10
        • ERR = cooling energy (Btu/hr) / power consumption (W)
        • Effectively, 25% additional energy is needed for cooling
  • 7. Air conditioning
      • Recommendations are to keep ambient temperatures between 20~24 o C
      • To reduce costs – set temperature and run at 24 o C rather than 20 o C
      • Layout of the equipment, to allow better airflow will reduce ‘hot spots’
  • 8. Rack layout – non force air cooled
    • More localized heat
    Less localized heat Switch Switch
  • 9. Licensing costs
      • 25% saving on Microsoft Server Licences with Enterprise Licence
        • Four Virtual Server Licences for the price of three Standard Licences
      • >25% savings with Data Center Licences when deploying over eight virtual machines
  • 10. Maintenance costs
      • Without virtualization, each server hosts an application
        • Hardware availability is critical
        • Maintenance contracts mandatory
      • With virtualization, multiple servers host multiple applications
        • Hardware may fail, with minimal impact
        • Lower costs maintenance can be considered
  • 11. Labour costs
      • With critical hardware, IT support labour costs are higher
        • More experienced staff to deal with emergencies
        • More cover to deal with out of hours emergencies
      • With virtualization, critical issues are reduced
  • 12. ‘ Hidden’ potential cost savings
      • Networking equipment
        • Electricity costs
        • Heat generation and dissipation
  • 13. Power consumption
      • Not all switches are created equal
        • Power consumption across manufacturers ranges by over 200%
      • Data centers require throughput – so Layer 2 is ideal
        • Layer 3 switches are more complex, consume more power, and are more expensive
  • 14. Power supply efficiency
      • Inefficient power supplies generate more direct heat.
        • Select power supplies with high efficiencies (>80%)
        • More heat means more money spent heating and then cooling the air with air-conditioning
      • The difference for a 100W power supply being 70% or 90% efficient in a switch equates to >£20 p.a.
  • 15. Short cable lengths
      • ‘ Green’ Ethernet
        • Switches automatically detect copper cable lengths, and reduce transmitted power accordingly
      • IEEE standard ‘Energy Efficient Ethernet’
        • In periods of low traffic utilization, the ports are put into a low energy ‘idle’ mode
  • 16. Energy Efficient Ethernet
      • One Lawrence Berkeley Labs researcher estimated the IEEE effort alone could save $450 million in energy costs a year just in the U.S., $80 million just from data centers
      • The researcher estimated that a Gigabit interface card could shave up to 1.5W off its power consumption and a 10Gbit card up to 10W by scaling back data rates at times of low traffic
  • 17. Inter-connections
      • Different inter-connects vary largely in cost, but also in power
    Connection Speed Power (Max.) SFP multi-mode 1G 1W SFP copper 1G 1.3W XFP multi-mode 10G 1.4W SPF+ multi-mode 10G 1W SFP+ copper (Twinax) 10G 1W CX4 copper 10G 4W
  • 18. Turn off the lights!!
      • Many data center or server rooms are kept locked and may not have any humans enter for days at a time
        • Turn off the lights to save cost
        • Also helps reduce heat
  • 19. Eco-friendly switches
      • Allied Telesis eco-friendly switches can also turn off their LED indicators
        • Manual (via front panel button)
        • Auto, after 15 minutes after pressing the button
      • Helps save up to 3% of power as it reduces the load on the power supply
  • 20. Remove the fans
      • For non forced-air systems, some Allied Telesis switches are now so low power that they are fanless
        • More reliable – no moving parts
        • Less power consumption – no fan to drive
  • 21. Out of hours operation
      • Do you need to run all the services 24/7?
        • Weekends
        • Bank holiday
        • 10pm ~ 5am
      • Consider powering down (idle) non-essential items to save power
  • 22. Power down servers
      • With virtualized applications being hosted on multiple hardware hosts, some hosts can be powered off
        • Issue is powering them back on!
        • Software and hardware dependent
        • One solution is ‘intelligent power strips ’
          • Can power on/off servers via IP over the network
  • 23. Power down/off - out of hours
      • VoIP phone systems
        • Legally you have to have some phones that can connect to the outside world for emergencies
        • Other phones can be powered off – as they are powered via Power-over-Ethernet; this is energy from and heat generated in the server room
        • Simple ‘configuration scripts’ can power down individual named ports
  • 24. Power down/off - out of hours
      • Wireless access points
        • If no one is present in the building – there is no need for a wireless network
        • Uses Power-over-Ethernet technology, so the connected switch can be programmed
  • 25. Summary
      • Allied Telesis provides Network Infrastructure equipment for use in Data Centers, which can help reduce both the OPEX, and help increase reliability.
      • For more information please visit –
  • 26. Thank you for your time