Data center efficiency measures, like most other technical advancements, has been growing substantially with an increase in their use. They have been growing to support business and to provide part of the service offered to the commercial world and us by ICT businesses.
Data centers have been estimated to contribute 30-40% of organizations energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. It is expected that, with the explosion of cloud computing, the Internet, networking and applications; data centers could contribute 9% to ICT greenhouse gas emissions and 4% of this could be from cooling by 2020.
With their avid growth, it is important to retrofit your business to help reduce your own costs and mitigate the environmental impact.
Here are some helpful tips for improving your data center efficiency.
1. Paint. Paint can be an important contributor to heat absorbency, something you want to avoid in a data center to help keep cooling costs to a minimum. Using paints and sealants that don’t contain Volatile Organic Compounds can help reflect a lot of the heat from the surrounding environment. No absorbency, no trapped heat means cooling requirements are lowered!
2. Where possible, use a ‘green’ energy source. Photo-voltaic panels can be a good choice, especially if you’re in a sunny country with nice toasty weather. A localized wind turbine might be more useful to areas with high wind, more rain-cloud-cold conditions.
3. Light sensors. Place light sensors that connect to certain areas of your center so that when someone is in the center, only that area is lit up. The light sensors will also allow for lights to go off when no one is around, saving you energy and money. To top this off, implement the use of energy efficient light bulbs in your center and your whole office.
4. Server use. Different servers have different power requirements; a blade server is far more compact and draws less power versus the stand-alone server. Try to phase out standalone and legacy equipment for more efficient, compact equipment. Remember, when getting rid of this equipment do it safely!
5. Server virtualization. This is another important server tip. Consolidating all the server processes in a virtual environment on one physical server will again save you energy, space and cooling necessities. For example, for every 1 VMserver you have, you could be operating 10 legacy servers. Consider this virtualization as a better means for managing and administrating what is one these servers. Follow suite by making sure the ‘lighter’ aspects of server use, that normally use 5 to 15% of capacity while drawing full power, are likewise consolidated onto 1 server.
6. Many organizations have 20 or more copies of the same data! Successfully managing these needless copies and reducing the amount that exists means you can minimize on server space attributed to server capacity and reduce the number of servers you require.
7. Investing in energy efficient servers can help cut costs and emissions, with estimates of up to 30% reduction in energy use. The US Energy Star can provide you with information on products for this. While investing, consolidating and replacing, it is important to consider that you need to decommission servers not in use speedily. These idle servers can use up to 30% of the running energy requirements while doing no computing.
8. Virtualization of servers means applications such as email, file storage, SQL, Oracle and so on can all be placed on 1 server and partitioned. However, it may be important to consider that each request to an application can have an impact on physical node heat generation. Some applications will get more ‘hits’ then others. These ‘hits’ can generate hotspots, which are not good for cooling-energy requirements of the center. In this case, more effective management of lighter-heavier applications should be applied when virtualising servers to help distribute heat activity.
It is important to consider that some of these points can be implemented but need to be improved when you are creating new data centers. Building design and geographical location can contribute significantly when establishing these new centers.