First steps: Reducing your Data Center Energy Footprint

Cooling
Cooling is responsible for the greatest energy waste. The problem is that most don’t know where all the hot spots are, and instead cool the entire data center to a certain level. The reality is that the hottest servers probably consume a minority of floor space, so you can focus cooling on those that need it most. Once you’ve isolated your most power-hungry servers, turn up the thermostat on the rest of them. Most servers can operate perfectly well at temperatures of as much as 100° (be sure to check with your supplier) and each 1° increase in temperature can save about 4percent in energy costs.Several vendors also now sell server racks that are optimized for cooling.

The Raised Floor
If you look under the raised flooring in your data center, you’ll probably find pockets of cables clustered together. These could be inhibiting air flow. By re-cabling and deploying vented floor tiles in strategic locations, you can cut energy waste with almost zero capital expense.

Consolidation, Reorganization & Virtualization
It’s important for every data center to analyze server use to determine what can be shut down and consolidated. If you don’t know who’s using a server, shut it down. You should also use virtualization to pack more physical servers onto fewer virtual ones. By some estimates, about 70 percent of servers in the data center are only supporting one application. Utilization rates of less than 15 percent on single servers are not uncommon. These are ideal candidates for virtualization.

About Bill McCluskey

Bill is on the HP Presales Team at Softchoice for servers, storage and networking. He is on the Green Team to share insights on the benefits and cost savings green IT offers.