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Top 5 Ways to Make your Datacenter Efficient


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Top 5 Ways to Make your Datacenter Efficient

  1. 1. Top 5 Ways to Make Your Data Center Efficient The Brands You Trust. ^ Business-wise, Future-drivenTM
  2. 2. Business-wise, Future-drivenTM Data Centers Schneider Electric Table of Contents Top 5 Ways to Make Your Data Center Efficient Table of Contents Introduction..................................................................3 Metering & Monitoring................................................13 Conclusion.................................................................14 1. Right-sizing.............................................................4 2. Close-coupled cooling.............................................6 3. Free cooling.............................................................7 4. Containment aka Airflow Management......................9 5. High Voltage Distribution........................................11
  3. 3. Business-wise, Future-drivenTM Top 5 Ways to Make Your Data Center Efficient Schneider Electric 3 Data Centers Introduction With the litany of material on energy efficiency in the data center, do you know - bottom line - what will have the greatest impact? The purpose of this ebook is to discuss, in order of impact, the top five energy saving practices in new and existing data centers. If we were designing “the perfect data center”, these are the 5 efficiency characteristics would we be sure to incorporate. If you have an existing data center, don’t worry; you can still implement these practices now, on your next refresh, or on your next expansion.  
  4. 4. Business-wise, Future-drivenTM Top 5 Ways to Make Your Data Center Efficient Schneider Electric 4 Data Centers 1. Right-sizing Overview Starting at the top of our list is right-sizing – by far, the most cost- impacting aspect of data center design. Here’s the idea: data centers and network rooms are routinely oversized to estimated long-term capacity requirements. In some cases, this is more than twice their required capacity. Over-sizing drives unnecessary capital, maintenance, and energy expenses, which are a substantial fraction of the overall lifecycle cost. Most of this excess cost can be avoided by using modular architecture that can quickly and cost-effectively adapt to changing requirements and still deliver high availability. To qualify the benefits of right-sizing, check out our Data Center Design Planning Tool. With this tool you can play with various scenarios to see the potential savings in capital cost, energy, and maintenance. If you want to learn more about growth planning and the value of right- sizing, take a look at the complete white paper, Data Center Projects: Growth Model
  5. 5. Business-wise, Future-drivenTM Top 5 Ways to Make Your Data Center Efficient Schneider Electric 5 Data Centers Details The physical and power infrastructure of data centers and network rooms is typically oversized by more than 100%. This unused capacity is the single largest avoidable capital cost, and also creates needless operating and maintenance costs. What’s the solution? A modular infrastructure design that scales or phases with the IT infrastructure. Here are the benefits: • The one-time engineering would be reduced • The infrastructure would be provided in pre-engineered modular building blocks • The components could be “plug and play” without the need for hot work • Special site preparation such as raised floors would be reduced • The system would be capable of operating in N, N+1, or 2N configurations without modification • Installation work such as wiring, drilling, cutting would be greatly reduced • Special permitting or regulatory procedures would not be required in order to increase capacity • The equipment cost of the modular power system would be the same or less than a traditional system • The maintenance cost of the modular power system would be the same or less than the cost of the traditional centralized system Right-sizing
  6. 6. Business-wise, Future-drivenTM Top 5 Ways to Make Your Data Center Efficient Schneider Electric 6 Data Centers 2. Close-coupled cooling Overview The second most effective way to lower PUE is through close-coupled coolng. Close-coupled or row-based cooling brings the cold source closer to the heat source: the rack. By placing the cooling equipment in the row, the heat is captured and neutralized before mixing in the room. The primary gains here are through (1) better airflow management and (2) lower fan speeds required to push cold air to the racks and pull hot air back into the plenum. Details In a typical data center set up, computer room air handlers (CRAHs) are placed around the room, directing cold air up through a raised floor. As rack power density grows beyond 5kW, challenges with air delivery and heat removal with perimeter CRAHs/CRACs become evident. Distance between the cooling units and the heat load make it difficult to properly remove the heat generated from IT equipment without mixing with supply air. This separation results in hot spots and a complicated design approach to air distribution. To add to this problem, the airflow demands of the IT equipment also increase with power density. To address the separation of cooling units and heat loads, row-based designs place the air-conditioning units in the row of rack enclosures. Incorporating a hot/cold aisle design, heat is removed from the hot aisle as it is expelled from the IT equipment. This brings cool air right to where the heat is generated and elimi- nates hot air from mixing with ambient air (aka, in-row or close-coupled cooling). This increases cooling predictability and efficiency, which saves you money on electrical costs. By closely coupling the cooling with the heat load, you prevent exhaust air from flowing back to sensitive IT equipment. This ensures that equipment temperatures are constantly held to set point conditions. Close-coupled cooling + containment Close coupled cool- ing prevents much of the hot/cold air mix- ing that occurs when a perimeter unit sits at a distance from the IT equipment it is supposed to cool. Containment can be used with either row or perimeter units, but it is more neces- sary for perimeter units because of their inherent inef- ficiencies in distrib- uting air. Perimeter units have another disadvantage in that their fans generally operate at a fixed speed, so they don’t adapt to varying IT loads, which wastes significant energy. > Want more detail? Here’s the full white paper: Energy Efficient Cooling for Data Centers: A Close-Coupled Row Solution
  7. 7. Business-wise, Future-drivenTM Top 5 Ways to Make Your Data Center Efficient Schneider Electric 7 Data Centers 3. Free cooling (economizer mode) Overview Ranking third on our list is the use of free cooling (aka operating in economizer mode). Operating in economizer mode saves energy (and money) by using outdoor air during colder months of the year, allowing refrigerant-based cooling components, like chillers and compressors, to be shut off or operated at a reduced capacity. In certain climates, some cooling systems can save over 70% in annual cooling energy costs, corresponding to over 15% reduction in annualized PUE – very attractive benefits. Details Historically, building an economizer mode into a data center cooling system entailed extra cost and complexity, and was only justified in situations with extremely favorable weather conditions, such as high latitudes. However, this has changed and economizer modes are now considered advantageous in almost all locations. For detailed information on the different economizer modes read Economizer Modes of Data Center Cooling Systems
  8. 8. Business-wise, Future-drivenTM Top 5 Ways to Make Your Data Center Efficient Schneider Electric 8 Data Centers Without detailing the 17 types of economizer modes, it’s important to clarify that “free cooling” is not entirely free. When a cooling system is in economizer mode, a significant amount of energy is saved in one part of the cooling process, but it doesn’t eliminate cooling costs altogether. This distinction is important because it’s one of the reasons all economizer modes are not created equal. All economizers bypass the compressor function either partially or fully, but how they do it (and the benefits of each) are different. Ultimately, 6 of the 17 are most beneficial to data centers. Here is a broad level comparison: Did you know... Free cooling (economizer mode) Quantitative com- parison between types of economizer modes. Whichever economizer mode you choose, it makes little sense to invest in one without first investing in a containment system, which leads us to the fourth most important efficiency best practice… >
  9. 9. Business-wise, Future-drivenTM Top 5 Ways to Make Your Data Center Efficient Schneider Electric 9 Data Centers4. Containment, aka Airflow Management Overview Up fourth in our best practices is containment. The idea is simple: separate the hot air from servers and the cold air from computer room air conditioners (CRACs), and energy efficiency improves significantly. You can contain either the hot air (hot aisle containment system, or HACS) or the cold air (cold aisle containment system, or CACS). Both options have pros and cons, but hot aisle containment tends to have higher efficiency gains. This Google video provides a good explanation of containment and shares some low-cost solutions. Details While the idea of containment is straightforward, most existing data centers do not manage their airflow. Aisle containment – whether hot or cold - creates a higher temperature differential between air entering and leaving CRAC units, which improves their efficiency. Other benefits of containment include elimina- tion of hot spots, more uniform and potentially higher server inlet temperatures, and the related increase of potential “free cooling” hours in units equipped with economizer modes. Cold Aisle containment But here the simi- larities end, as the two approaches differ substantially in their impact on the temperature in the work environ- ment, PUE, and number of econo- mizer mode hours. Hot Aisle containment >
  10. 10. Business-wise, Future-drivenTM Top 5 Ways to Make Your Data Center Efficient Schneider Electric 10 Data Centers The choice of hot aisle containment over cold-aisle containment can save 43% in annual cooling system energy cost, corresponding to a 15% reduction in annualized PUE. Here are the major considerations for both: • Cold aisle containment, though less efficient than hot aisle, may be a more viable option for existing data centers with standard raised-floor cooling. • Hot aisle containment is best for new builds or very large data custom-built building to efficiently handle the large air volume. However, it is significantly more efficient than cold aisle containment. Hot aisle containment is excellent for large, purpose-built data centers because of the efficiency gains through economizer modes. • There are employee work environment considerations to keep in mind for both containment systems – CACS can produce very hot working areas that may not meet OSHA regulations for employees permanently stationed in the room. You may also need to make special considerations for equipment in the room, such as tape racks or storage that are not part of the contained cooling system. Did you know... Containment, aka Airflow Management Read more in the full white paper: Impact of Hot and Cold Aisle Containment on Data Center Temperature and Efficiency
  11. 11. Business-wise, Future-drivenTM Top 5 Ways to Make Your Data Center Efficient Schneider Electric 11 Data Centers 5. High Voltage Distribution Overview Last on our list of top five efficiency best practices is high voltage distribution. If you minimize the number of times electricity is transformed between the electrical grid and the equipment it powers, you will avoid the energy losses that take place in the transformers. Take this a step further by running higher voltages (240V) to IT equipment – as the rest of the world does – and your equipment will run at maximum efficiency. Details Did you know that most existing data centers use the same power distribution architecture that was developed about 40 years ago? Not only is that ancient in technology terms, it’s also not what most data centers around the globe use today. This 40-year-old power architecture limits the scalability, efficiency, configurability, manageability and power density in the data center – on two counts: 1. IT equipment doesn’t operate at maximum efficiency at lower volt age levels. 2. In a typical power distribution set up, voltage is stepped down several times before actually reaching the equipment, and with each transformation, there are energy losses. By switching to higher voltage distribution, you minimize step-downs and their associated wasted energy. Want to read the full white paper? Click here: High-Efficiency AC Power Distribution for Data Centers
  12. 12. Business-wise, Future-drivenTM Top 5 Ways to Make Your Data Center Efficient Schneider Electric 12 Data Centers By using a 240V distribution system instead of the traditional 120V system, you can save 25% in material cost and 10 year energy cost, and save floor space and weight loading. This alternative design can operate alongside conventional power distribution designs in existing data centers. The illustration on this page provides a one- line diagram of traditional distribution vs. high voltage distribution. Traditional Distibution The traditional power distribution system for large data centers in North America is a 480/277 three-phase power system supplying power distribution units (PDUs) which convert the voltage to the 208V and 120V single-phase branch circuits used by the IT equipment. The PDUs contain oversized, heavy isolation transformers which increases energy costs and consume valuable floor space. The proposed 240V power distribution system is an adaptation of the power dis- tribution system used in the rest of the world. Increasing the voltage to 240V (the highest voltage supported by most IT equipment) makes it practical to consolidate the PDU transformers into a single isolation transformer on the bypass of the UPS and then use auto-transformers to step down to 240 volts. Sizing a single trans- former to the UPS capacity reduces PDU transformer over-sizing, saving significant energy. In addition, this transformer can be located outside the data center IT space, which removes a significant amount of weight and IT floor space. This de- sign also increases the power density capability per rack without adding extra circuit breakers as would be the case with the 120/208V design. High Voltage Distribution Did you know... High Voltage Distribution
  13. 13. Business-wise, Future-drivenTM Top 5 Ways to Make Your Data Center Efficient Schneider Electric 13 Data Centers Metering & Monitoring Now that you know which 5 efficiency practices will have the greatest impact on your bottom line, an important component of continually improving efficiency is metering and monitoring performance. You can’t control what you don’t measure. If you don’t know what is functioning inefficiently and exactly how inefficiently, you can’t make sound decisions to improve efficiency. So, the first step towards efficiency is metering and monitoring energy usage in your data center. Details To improve energy efficiency in your data center, you need data about your facility’s performance, you have to know how to evaluate it, and then you have to know how to compare or benchmark your performance to other, similar data centers. With metrics like power usage effectiveness (PUE) gaining mainstream usage, most of the industry agrees that you must measure efficiency to estab- lish a baseline. However, these measurements are meaningful only when used in conjunction with models; an effective metering/monitoring system is able to diagnose the sources of inefficiency and suggest corrective action. The anal- ogy below with automobile fuel economy is helpful in understanding the types of information we need in order to interpret data center efficiency data. To manage efficiency, you have the option of permanently instru- menting the appropri- ate power flows for real-time efficiency metering, or you can perform periodic audits of power flows using portable instruments. For new data centers, perma- nent instrumentation makes sense. For existing data centers, we recommend a mix of limited permanent instrumentation and periodic audits. > Want to know exactly what to measure and how to do it? Learn how in the full white paper, Electrical Efficiency Measurement for Data Centers
  14. 14. Business-wise, Future-drivenTM Top 5 Ways to Make Your Data Center Efficient Schneider Electric 14 Data Centers Conclusion These five tips, more than any others, will help you improve energy efficiency and dramatically lower capital and operating costs for years to come. If you aren’t sure where to start, consider an energy efficiency audit. It will draw a roadmap for planning your new data center or to optimize an existing one. For more tips on improving energy efficiency and lowering total cost of ownership in your data center, be sure to read the white papers previ- ously referenced: • Electrical Efficiency Measurement for Data Centers • Data Center Projects: Growth Model • Energy Efficient Cooling for Data Centers: A Close-Coupled Row Solution • Impact of Hot and Cold Aisle Containment on Data Center Temperature and Efficiency • High-Efficiency AC Power Distribution for Data Centers
  15. 15. Business-wise, Future-drivenTM Top 5 Ways to Make Your Data Center Efficient Schneider Electric 15 Data Centers 132 Fairgrounds Rd. - West Kingston, RI 02892 - 800-800-4272 - Theglobalspecialistin energymanagement™