Data Center Efficiency: Save Energy, Save Money, Save Space

Posted by Gaw Technology on 3/28/2013
Here’s one you can file under Stuff You Already Know: Data centers use up a lot of energy.

That’s because they are designed for capacity, performance and reliability -- usually at the expense of efficiency (and, unfortunately, the environment).

Efficiency is the name of the game for any business -- and it’s especially critical for data centers, which are a tremendous drain on energy, space and resources when not operated with the proper strategy. You want to slash your data center energy bill and be more “green” -- but where do you start?

Investing in smart server racks and cabinets with custom accessories is the first step in achieving that efficiency you crave, but here are some other tips to try:

Reduce cooling power consumption.
In a typical data center, only about half of the power available is actually used by equipment. The rest goes mostly to cooling. Reclaim a good deal of that power by eliminating cooling inefficiencies, upgrading the cooling system to allow for variable cooling and/or making greater use of outside air.

Consolidate by virtualizing.
Poor server utilization is one of the biggest sources of waste in most data centers. Virtualizing the servers increases overall utilization up to 50%. This also allows you to recover a considerable amount of precious server rack space and stranded power in the process.

Calibrate and monitor cold aisle temperatures.
You already know that adopting a hot/cold aisle configuration keeps your servers operating optimally. However, increasing the cold aisle inlet temperatures to 80.6°F can create hot spots that waste power and cause outages. Take the time to balance the equipment, calibrate and monitor the cold aisle temperature to maximize cooling efficiency and minimize inefficiencies.

Match server capacity to load in real time.
Even the most virtualized and recently refreshed server configurations waste power during periods of low application demand. Match online capacity to actual load in real time to reduce server power consumption by up to 50%.

Replace or retrofit inefficient computer room lighting systems.
Many IT managers focus on data center enclosures like server racks and custom cabinets when looking for ways to improve efficiencies. These are, of course, crucial, but don’t forget the important role that lighting plays in your data center -- and on its budget.

Replacing or retrofitting present lighting fixtures yields energy savings with attractive paybacks. Set the controls up so that computer room lighting cycles match occupancy schedules.

Maintain under-floor pressure.
This is something that’s often overlooked. Be sure to seal all unnecessary openings in the raised floor, including structured cabling cutouts underneath cabinets, openings at the building columns and gaps at the perimeter-building envelope.

Properly sealing these areas makes it easier to maintain under-floor air pressure, thus reducing the strain on the mechanical systems and saving the cold supply air for its intended use -- to cool your IT equipment.

With the cost of electricity now devouring up to a staggering 40% of all operational expenditures in data centers, it’s no wonder that organizations are starting to pay serious attention to energy efficiency. You can dramatically improve your data center’s efficiency without cutting back on capacity, performance or reliability. 

Visit Gaw Technology online to maximize your data center’s efficiency with custom cabinets and efficient data center accessories.

Gaw’s expert enclosure consultants will help you every step of the way as you create a data center strategy that saves energy, money and space.

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