10 Ways to Improve Efficiency and Increase Data Center Energy Savings
Whether you run a larger data center for multi-company use or you run a company with its own, specialized server room, data center energy efficiency is a major concern. These components of your IT infrastructure can consume around 25% of your energy bill. So, how do you up the efficiency to help your company realize higher data center energy savings?
#1: Improve Data Center Energy Efficiency by Maximizing IT Efficiency
Whether you overestimated your data storage needs, underestimated your equipment’s capabilities, or just haven’t upgraded your storage methods with your IT equipment, chances are, there are areas in which you can maximize your business’s IT efficiency to realize energy savings in your data center.
By using cloud computing and virtualization, you can reduce the number of servers your data center needs and boost the amount of storage and computer power of each physical server. With virtualization, each physical server can run multiple workloads, meaning you don’t need to power as many of them, maximizing your data center efficiency.
#3. Organize Your Data
Make sure your data is organized and efficient, too. Some companies have dozens of copies of a single file saved in multiple places throughout the server, wasting valuable storage space. Eliminate that waste, and you may find you need fewer servers to handle your storage, which means more electricity conservation in your data center.
#4. Ditch the Partially Used and Unused Servers
Some of your servers may only be operating at half capacity, or even less! A server running below capacity still uses full power, which can diminish energy efficiency in your data center. Consolidate your partially used servers into as few units as possible and lose the now empty and lowest efficiency servers, and you might be surprised how much energy you save.
#5. CPU Power Management
If your servers’ CPUs have a power-management feature, use it. This will optimize electricity consumption by bringing down the voltage and frequency rates when peak performance isn’t required. This reduces the amount of power your servers use without hindering their processing performance.
#6. Use the Right Technology
Outdated servers require more energy to store and process less information, so make sure to keep your servers updated every so often to maximize efficiency. Some IT servers have high-efficiency power supplies, which are great for increasing your data center energy conservation. Plus, there are EnergyStar qualified servers that use 30% less energy, so you may also want to look into those.
#7. Optimize Environmental Controls
A big part of your data center energy usage comes from how you control the environment in the server room. Some data centers arrange their server racks in a linear method. In other words, the CRAC (computer room air conditioner) is on one side of the room, and the racks are lined up in front of it. The problem with this is that the first row gets cool air and sends back warmer air, so the last few rows of servers end up overheating and it takes more energy to keep the entire room cool.
Instead, create a server room with a raised floor for the CRAC to pump air into, and put the air vents in the floor. Create “cold aisles,” which are aisles of server racks where both sides of the aisle have the server intakes facing the cold air vents. Then, create “hot aisles,” where the exhaust sides of the server racks are facing the aisle on both sides. Here is where you will have a drop ceiling with return vents above the aisles, allowing the exhaust air to get sucked out of the room away from your data center. In addition, by containing your server racks with vented enclosures, you can further direct cold air towards the servers and warm air away from them. This is a much more efficient way of controlling the environment in your server room and can result in significant energy savings in your data center.
You may also want to revisit your methods of humidifying and dehumidifying your server rooms, as newer, more efficient methods have been developed in recent years. Also, consider retrofitting CRACs with variable speed fan drives to adjust to changes in cooling needs. Air-side and water-side economizers may also be viable options for data center energy conservation for your business.
#8. Reuse What You Can
This is easier if you are building a data center from the ground up or constructing a new space for your business, but there are ways to improve the energy efficiency of a data center by reusing as much as possible. For example, the warm air coming out of servers is usually dumped out of the building as waste. However, it is possible to use that warm air to heat other areas of the building (such as workspaces) during colder months.
#9. If You Can, Get Really Creative
If you have the resources to get really creative with your data center energy savings, do it. For example, a French company is building a data center in Normandy that will utilize used batteries from electric cars. Not only is this good for saving the data center in energy costs, but it also saves the environment from ending up with those batteries as waste.
#10. Talk to the Professionals about Data Center Energy Savings
The experts at Customer 1st Communications are well-versed in IT infrastructure. We consult on data center construction and layout, equipment options, and alternative data center options such as colocation. Plus, when you partner with us to help with the construction and planning process, we’ll work within your budget and time frame to help you maximize your data center’s energy savings and efficiency.
Ready to maximize your data center energy savings? Call 855-TECH-C1C (855-832-4212) or fill out our online form and one of our representatives will be in touch!