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. [Read more…]

Four Costly Computer Myths

1 You should never turn off your computer.
Your computer is designed to handle 40,000 on/off cycles. If you are an average user, that’s significantly more cycles than you will initiate in the computer’s five to seven year life. When you turn your computer off, you not only reduce energy use, you also lower heat stress and wear on the system.

2 Turning your computer off and then back on uses more energy than leaving it on.
The surge of power used by a CPU to boot up is far less than the energy your computer uses when left on for more than three minutes.

3 Screen savers save energy.
This is a common misconception. Screen savers were originally designed to help prolong the life of monochrome monitors. Those monitors are now technologically obsolete. Screen savers save energy only if they actually turn off the screen or, with laptops, turn off the backlight.

4 Network connections are lost when computers go into low-power/sleep mode.
Newer computers are designed to sleep on networks without loss of data or connection. CPUs with Wake on LAN (WOL) technology can be left in sleep mode overnight to wake up and receive data packets sent to the unit.

Read the full article on Eco-Friendly Computing.

Can switching to Vista really save energy?

Enterprises with an abundance of Windows XP desktop PCs and laptops can reduce power consumption costs and carbon dioxide emissions by half in switching to Windows Vista. In this research note, we describe the results of lab tests performed by Info-Tech Research Group that compare power consumption for Windows XP versus Windows Vista.

Main points of discussion include:
» The power consumption of XP and Vista under high and low power states.
» The effect of Aero on Vista power consumption.
» Improvements of sleep mode in Windows Vista.
» Group Policy differences between XP and Vista.
» Power running costs of XP and Vista under two scenarios.
» How power consumption translates into carbon dioxide emission reductions.

Read the Full Report.

All those PCs left on can add up!

When most people think about reducing energy in IT, they focus on the power-hungry data center. But we tend to overlook the PCs that sit on almost every office worker’s desk.

The average PC and monitor annually consume 600 kWh of energy, which results in 710 to 1330 lbs of carbon released into the atmosphere. The largest opportunity within this environmental impact is that approximately 20%-40% of PCs and monitors are left on all night. One report estimated that turning off every work computer in the United States every evening would save as much CO2 emissions as taking every car in the state of Maryland off the road.*

In business terms, the simple step of shutting computers down nightly can result in a per PC reduction of [Read more…]

Why care about reducing energy in the data center?

Environmental

Data centers are the backbone of a company’s IT infrastructure. They can also be the most energy-intensive component of your IT operations.

  • The amount of electricity consumed by U.S. data centers doubled between 2000 and 2006 and is expected to double again by 2011, according to the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • A typical 50,000-square-foot data center consumes about 57 barrels of oil per day.
  • About 40 percent of the power used by data centers goes to cooling, according to several estimates. About 60 percent of that expense is wasted, because data center heat distribution is extremely erratic, and spot cooling is complicated. [Read more…]

Are your Technology Assets hanging out with Dracula?

Somewhere in every workstation lurks a sly monster. Electronic devices litter the desk, cords snaking into tangles leading to over-stuffed electrical outlets. Could it be that desk full of wonderful devices actually turns to the dark side after the day ends?

There may be vampires in your office. Don’t be alarmed—many are easy to spot—just look for the power cord. Most electrical devices, new and old, will still consume power when in the “Off” position, but still plugged into an outlet. While the power draw of unused cell phone chargers has been disproven, any device with an “On/Off” switch will likely continue to draw power in its standby mode. [Read more…]