GREEN DATA CENTERS Author: Deepak Satya, Practice Head , TIS, Wipro Technologies.
Green data centers Green... Everyone is talking about it and it’s not unusual for us to face questions on our initiatives, progress and achievements towards providing and adopting Green IT solutions. We know that Green IT is a growing phenomenon where organizations are seeking ways and means in which they contribute towards efficient usage of energy and also other environmental friendly features of the products such as greater re-cyclability, usage of less hazardous materials etc. Data Centers have been singled out for a number of Green IT initiatives and rightly so. A research of the power consumption worldwide shows that upto 50% of the power produced is utilized in maintaining buildings and Data Centers contribute to as high as 20% within this bracket. The origin of Green IT can be traced back to 1992 when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency launched a voluntary labeling program called “Energy Star”. The term “Green computing” was coined shortly after the Energy Star program began and generally referred to power consumption related issues. Before we delve in to the Green Data Centers, let’s also understand what is driving the Green IT initiatives. According to me, the main drivers for the Green initiatives are multi-fold: Financial, Environmental and Legislative. • From our experience we have seen that most large organizations are spending close to 5% of their total IT budget on energy. With the growing demands of the infrastructure and the increasing compute density, this figure is likely to grow two to three times in the next 5 years. This is significant enough for the IT managers to seriously consider “greening” their data centers. • The wastage of energy in traditional data centers is significant. With the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility gaining importance, Green Data Centers will be viewed very seriously by the organizations • There are a number of legislations that have been passed or are in the process of being passed in many countries around usage and efficiencies of energy. Green Data Centers A green data center is a data center that is designed and operated for maximum energy efficiency and minimum environmental impact. Today, equipment manufacturers and data center designers have solutions in place that can make data centers more efficient in terms of energy efficiency. There are also related solutions for conservation of water, usage of wind energy for cooling etc that are being experimented to achieve more efficiencies. While these technology advancements are indeed helping us to build green data centers, we need to constantly measure the data centers for their efficiencies and constantly fine-tune solution to maintain the greenness of data centers. Below are some of the top data center operational activities that we have practiced to enhance and maintain the data center efficiencies. 2 | www.wipro.com/industryresearch WIPRO TECHNOLOGIES
Green data centers • Measure , Measure and Measure We believe in the simple philosophy that whatever can be measured can be improved. In all our data centers and also as part of our management services to customers we measure certain energy related parameters that help in tracking the energy efficiencies. While there may be multiple ways of measuring the data centre energy efficiency, DCiE (Data Centre Infrastructure Efficiency) or PuE (Power Usage Effectiveness which is 1/DCiE) is usually acceptable way of measuring the same. These measurements have helped us in base lining and analyzing the energy consumption at system and component level. Measuring the temperature and humidity in the data centers will help in identifying and in remediation of Hotspots. Hotspots refer to the localized heat pockets within racks in a data center. Data centers that were designed for 3 to 4 KW of IT load per rack are accommodating high density blade servers, often leading to hotspots. Other causes include blockages in the airflow paths and mixing of cold air with hot air. • Integrated Monitoring of Cooling and Electrical Facilities Infrastructure While IT professionals ensure high level of redundancy for IT infrastructure, the same also needs to reflect in site facilities. To achieve high availability, monitoring of site facilities is as crucial as monitoring IT systems. Integrated IT and site facilities monitoring are an important initiative in this direction. Proactive monitoring and management of UPS/CRAC etc helps in improving the availability of the data centers and also help in lowering the energy spend. • Don’t burn energy on dead systems We have seen that in a typical data center about 10 to 15% of servers are either not used or actually not required to be available 24X7. A simple initiative that can be taken up is to switch off these servers which results in savings in power and cooling. On those servers that are not required to be available always we have recommended and implemented power management solutions. • Improve Resource Utilization and follow a healthy refresh cycle The low utilization of servers is a known fact. And it is also known that each server takes up valuable data center floor space, consumes power and cooling capacity, and drives up management costs. 3 | www.wipro.com/industryresearch WIPRO TECHNOLOGIES
Green data centers Similarly, effective management of data plays a vital part in turning data center in to a green data center. We know that data is growing exponentially and therefore the need for more storage on a continuous basis. Adding to this genuine growth is the improper management of data resulting in numerous copies of the same data which leads to more storage requirements. Consolidation and virtualization of servers have helped in reducing not only the floor space in the data center but also the power and cooling demands. Data management solutions such as de- duplication and hierarchical storage management can reduce the need for additional storage. The density of the servers is ever improving. Also, the newer servers are more powerful than the old one’s. By following a healthy refresh cycle for servers and other equipments we can reduce the number of servers in the data center. Conclusion: Green Data centers are no longer a “fancy” concept. Organizations will be forced to implement green data centers for financial benefits, for environmental considerations and also for adhering to the legislations that will be passed. The “greenness” of the Green Data Centers have to be maintained on a regular basis. Simple steps like measuring vital parameters, practicing healthy asset management solutions, consolidating infrastructure elements etc will go a long way in maintaining energy efficiencies. 4 | www.wipro.com/industryresearch WIPRO TECHNOLOGIES
Green data centers Where has Wipro provided services towards Green data Centers? Sl No Customer Details 1 Manufacturing company Migration of data center from an internal facility to a in Europe hosting facility Virtualization and Consolidation of servers resulting in reduction of server count by 25% Refresh of old UNIX servers with new servers 2 Utility Company in UK Data Center Assessment New cooling solution design for lower operational costs – savings of energy 26% reduction in power consumption 3 Utility Company in UK Server consolidation and virtualization solution resulting in reduction of server count by 30% Reduction in data center foot print requirement by 50% 25% reduction in cooling power requirement Data center migration from internal facility to a hosting facility 4 Telecom Company in Roadmap for consolidating 24000 servers deployed Europe in 4 countries Reduction in server and other infrastructure elements count Associated reduction in data center power, cooling and real estate requirements 5 | www.wipro.com/industryresearch WIPRO TECHNOLOGIES
Green data centers ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Deepak Satya heads the Data Center Services for Wipro Technologies. Mr. Satya carries responsibility of developing management services and solutions on Data Center Hosting, Production Operations, Storage Services, Platform Services, Database Services and Web Services. Prior to his present role, Deepak was Practice Head for Infrastructure Consulting Practice. Deepak has lead and taken part in a number of Infrastructure Transformation projects. 6 | www.wipro.com/industryresearch WIPRO TECHNOLOGIES
Green data centers ABOUT WIPRO TECHNOLOGIES Wipro is the first PCMM Level 5 and SEI CMMi Level 5 certified IT Services Company globally. Wipro provides comprehensive IT solutions and services (including systems integration, IS outsourcing, package implementation, software application development and maintenance) and Research & Development services (hardware and software design, development and implementation) to corporations globally. Wipros unique value proposition is further delivered through our pioneering Offshore Outsourcing Model and stringent Quality Processes of SEI and Six Sigma. ABOUT WIPRO COUNCIL FOR INDUSTRY RESEARCH The Wipro Council for Industry Research comprising of domain and technology experts from the organization aims to address the needs of customers by specifically looking at innovative strategies that will help them gain competitive advantage in the market. The Council in collaboration with leading academic institutions and industry bodies studies market trends to equip organizations with insights that facilitate their IT and business strategies For more information please visit www.wipro.com/industryresearch 7 | www.wipro.com/industryresearch WIPRO TECHNOLOGIES