5 Steps to a More Efficient Data Center

An article posted on 42u’s website provides data center users with sound advice for implementing energy efficient solutions into their preexisting data center(s). The original article can be found here.

The Article explains five energy saving steps that a data center user can pursue in turning their data center ‘green’.  Efficient energy-use should be a much sought-after commodity for data center operators because it can reduce downtime, increase output, and reduce your OpEx (Operational Expenditures) spending.  The biggest benefit of maintaining a data center’s efficiency or PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) is that it can greatly reduce one’s CapEx (Capital Expenditure) spending by potentially nullifying the needs for upgrades or expansion. The five steps found in the article are:

1. Take A Look At Your Equipment: 

If properly managed, the IT components will account for the majority of energy use. Replacing old or severely used IT components can potentially have a huge impact on data center efficiency.  Most IT equipment companies also provide ‘green’ energy-efficient alternatives to replace non-energy-efficient equipment.

2.  Data Center Airflow:

Properly managing the data center’s airflow to mitigate the risk of “short cycling” and/or”recirculation” can significantly reduce cooling cost. Fully isolating the ‘cold aisles’ and ‘hot aisles’ can also significantly reduce energy consumption, which in-turn, will reduce cooling costs.

3. Data Center Temperature:

Too much cooling is not always good.  Overcooling is ubiquitous in data centers, and is often tantamount to poor design.  Isolating the ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ aisles is a healthy start at temperature control, which will invariably help energy costs, but it is also important to understand the needs and limitations of your IT equipment.  All of the major equipment manufacturers support the temperature ranges that are recommended by (ASHRAE) American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Engineers.  Following ASHRAE’s recommended temperature settings can prevent inefficient cooling in a data center by setting the cooling temperature towards the upper limit of an IT equipment’s operating temperature margin.

4.  Where Is Your Data Center Going?:

It is important to take into account future and current loads and capacity limitations. These are important functions to be aware of for possible upgrading scenarios.  With careful planning, one can circumvent the risk of unintentionally creating cooling issues within the data center.

5.  Use Your PUE/DCIE:

Calculating and knowing the PUE/DCIE of one’s data center can help track efficiency improvements within the data center.  By knowing the PUE/DCIE, one can set energy efficiency goals predicated on the total operating and capital costs of the ‘green’ equipment, and the energy profits one generates from implementing the energy-efficient equipment into their data center.  42u has a helpful online PUE calculator that can be found here.

For additional information about 42u, visit their website at http://www.42u.com/.

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