One of today’s biggest concerns for data center managers is the collision of two
unsettling trends: rising energy costs and stagnating budgets. While there is
plenty of chatter in the industry about efficiency, you as a data center manager,
need real-world best practices to help you realize energy savings. The purpose
of this e-book is to give you 12 tips and tricks that you can
implement today, without much time, effort or expense.
Let’s call it the low-hanging fruit.
Do you know how many of your servers are unused?
Seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how often this simple step is overlooked.
Unused servers consume energy (which equals money), produce heat,
require maintenance, take up space…you get the picture!
Don’t ignore cooling – it too should adjust to varying loads in the data center
Management software helps optimize energy consumption and eliminate waste
At this point in the history of the data center,
this one seems like a no-brainer. However,
many data centers still do not employ hot
aisle/cold aisle containment. Rows of racks
should be oriented so that the fronts of the
servers (the “cold side”) face each other. Such
a layout, if properly organized, can greatly
reduce energy losses as well as prolong
the life of the servers.
* Check out Green Grid’s 2010
survey, “Unused Servers: Cost
savings and increased
efficiency for free?”
Click here to Link
2 Schneider Electric
Are you demanding efficiency from your back-up systems?
Redundant systems are typically used well below their rated capacity.
Tune them for fractional-load efficiency, and consider modular, scalable
power and cooling architecture.
These tools can be your best friends by
minimizing “stranded capacity” within the
data center and maximizing the amount
of IT equipment that can be installed. This
optimization allows you to easily manage gross
power and cooling capacity and push the
system to the highest point on its efficiency
curve. By maximizing the capacity of your
equipment, you avoid purchasing unnecessary
equipment and drive down energy costs by
running what you have efficiently.
There are many software tools
out there to help you monitor and
maintain optimal energy
consumption – use them.
These programs can be
configured to identify and
warn you of current conditions
and environments that are under-
performing, so you can minimize
Row-based cooling puts the cold air right where it
needs to be – on the “cold side” of your servers.
Reduce the mixing of hot and cold air streams,
and you improve the predictability of air
distribution and energy efficiency by
delivering cold air to the loads that
need it most.
6 Have you designed your data center to
allow for scalable power and cooling?
This is especially useful for newer data centers.
By designing a data center with scalable power
and cooling, you “right-size” your data center and
dramatically increase energy savings.
Why have power and cooling systems operating
at full capacity when your data center is operating
at half or a quarter of capacity?
By turning on power and cooling as needed, you save
on energy consumption, AND extend the life of your
systems, deferring capital costs until needed.
Related to hot aisle/cold aisle arrangement, a hot aisle containment system allows
some aisles to have higher work temperatures, lowering the cost to cool other parts of the
data center. This increases chilled water temperatures, allowing for an increase in econo-
mizer hours and significant electrical cost savings.
Depending on your data center’s
location and climate, “free cooling”
may be an option.
Cooling economizer systems save
energy by using outdoor air during colder
months of the year. With Mother Nature’s
chilling assistance, mechanical cooling
systems like chillers and compressors
can be shut off or operated at re-
2 Schneider Electric
In recent years, the efficiency of UPS systems
has dramatically increased.
Because UPSs are heavyweight energy consumers, high
efficiency UPSs can really help reduce your energy bill.
Even at 30% load, the newest UPS systems pick up
over 10% in efficiency when compared to the average of
currently installed UPS systems.
Many electric motor-driven devices in the data center
operate at full speed even when the loads they’re
supporting require less capacity. Variable frequency drives
(VFD) help to match the fan output to the load.
The speed control mechanism in these devices helps
maximize efficiency. Both management software and
wired and wireless thermal sensors can help in the
regulation or control of VFD drives.
Our 12 tips for 2012 will help reduce energy costs in data centers of all shapes and sizes.
If implementing all of these seems overwhelming, consider an energy efficiency audit for
your data center so you can determine which changes will have the greatest impact on your
energy bill. An energy audit will also identify areas unique to your data center that can be
optimized for energy efficiency.
For more tips on improving energy efficiency and
lowering total cost of ownership in your data center, read
“Implementing Energy Efficient Data Centers”
Why let your building limit your ability to be more
energy efficient? Modular, containerized power and
cooling modules use standard components and hit
PUE targets specified in the design.
Packaged, shipped and installed as a container that
plugs into an existing building, modular solutions
rapidly increase efficiencies within existing data
centers – letting your data center grow quickly
and cost-effectively as your business grows.
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