Main message : Data Centers and computer equipment use a lot of electrical energy The energy density in data centers rivals just about any other load – industrial or otherwise. End users tend to significantly underestimate the contribution a data center – and PC’s throughout their facility – make to their total electrical bill. EXAMPLE: a Milwaukee-area manufacturer with a 1 million square foot plant found that over 20% of their total electrical usage is being consumed by their 20,000 square foot data center.
Main Message: electrical load growth in data centers is alarmingly high. Compared to overall load growth at about 2% annually, 12% growth means that data centers will continue to be a larger and larger part of every organization’s energy bill. The environmental cost of all of that energy usage is considerable.
Main message: there are options and ways to control that load growth: Purchasing energy efficient equipment can reduce the growth rate somewhat. Virtualization and data center optimization techniques can make a quick impact (see notch in “improved scenarios” above) Adopting truly sustainable purchasing, provisioning, and application development practices can reduce IT systems load growth to zero, if an organization is willing to commit to it.
Main message: In order to be able to identify the opportunities, first you need to know where they are. Understanding your operation is the first step toward doing something about it. Servers and other computing equipment typically use about half of the energy in a data center. Cooling all of those systems consumes another third of the power – all year long Supporting equipment (uninterruptible power supplies, power conversion and distribution, etc., all waste power without getting any computing done.
Main Message: every piece of equipment in your facility uses power – and can be made more efficient by operating it better, or by replacing it.
Main message: there is still no good way to benchmark energy usage vs. computing output.
Important fact : due to all of the power used by the “supporting equipment” in a data center, each watt saved at the server (processor) in a data center represents nearly 3 watts of savings at the electric meter – where you pay for it.
Main Message: until the Facilities Department and IT department begin talking to each other, nothing is likely to occur. Current Challenges: No existing, widely accepted metrics for equipment or data centers re: energy performance Lack of consistent information available to the end user Lack of incentive on the part of IT departments to address energy usage, since they frequently don’t pay the bill. IT technologies/applications rapidly changing – keeping up with evolving technology difficult enough without having to worry about energy usage, too. Reliability, capacity, and uptime are still the top priorities for data center operators – above all else. Lack of communication between IT and facilities management – in fact, in some cases (anecdotal) these departments share a negative relationship. Green may be popular – but change can be difficult “ Security guys don’t give a d—n about energy efficiency, but they way they run the firewall or whatever, can be massively inefficient” “ Nobody ever talks about trade-offs”
Main Message: priorities are changing quickly, though – according to Emerson Data Centers Users Group surveys: In just 2 years, “Energy Efficiency” went from a non-issue to #3 on the list. Users are starting to understand the issue A lot of education still needs to take place
Start with simple initiatives: Spec 80 Plus compliant PC and server purchases Spec LCD monitors that beat Energy Star standard Install PC Network Management Software $6 per PC incentive already available! Free cooling and airflow management best practices in existing data centers Virtualization/consolidation Near term winners: Widespread adoption of Virtualization 1.0 for computing and data storage Focus on efficient data storage technologies Equipment metrics place high emphasis on efficiency as part of performance Early adoption of Virtualization 2.0: IT load following and demand response. Mid-term winners: Evolutionary power conditioning, management, and delivery systems Virtualization 3.0: fully integrated, holistic data center power management Long-term winners: Backup cooling systems, demand management Truly “green” data center designs
Same tools that Focus uses for other facilities
PG&E recognizes that we have to build partnerships across this industry, with equipment manufacturers, customers, the utility industry, the regulatory community, and new players to drive success. What role will you play?
Take a Byte out of Energy Costs Focus on Energy in the Data Center Erik Kakulis Energy Advisor – Data Systems Focus on Energy
Fact: No Universal Metric For Data Center Output In the absence of this metric, discussing data systems energy efficiency is not meaningful. We can only talk about reducing data systems energy consumption.