Data Center Technology and Management – How to Control Energy?

Data Center Technology and its Management – How to Control Energy?

Today, energy is the most costly resource as far as a Data Center is concerned. This implies that consistent, granular power management can not be ignored any more. Monitoring power consumption and other performance data in data centers has been a herculean task. To the extent that operators in many Data Centers have shunned it. Energy efficiency in the data center in not only for environmental reasons, but also for economic benefits seen when Green IT is incorporated into data center technology. The term “green” means analyzing, measuring and controlling power consumption to facilitate effective capacity planning with aptitude to implement change for decreased consumption – Resulting to improved energy efficiency, controlled carbon footprint and improved overall company ROI.

Companies around the world are now focusing on green Data Centers for the following reasons:

  • Rising cost of energy: The annual cost of energy per square-foot in a Data Center if thirty to eighty more times than a typical building. The cost of electricity and other supporting infrastructure for three years exceeds that of capital cost of the Information Technology equipment. EPA states that data centers account for 1.5% of the United States’ annual power consumption.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Limited power supply
  • Companies’ need to improve their corporate image by going green
  • Legislation Regarding Energy

To alleviate the burden of increasing Data Center energy cost, the US federal government has lead by example. By merging a few of its agencies like the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), the Department of Energy data center initiative, the Department of Energy Industrial Technologies in Data Centers program and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. A collaboration that has lead to development of tools and resources that allow data center facilities to be more energy efficient through out the US.  FEMP encourages data center efficiency to be intuitive by advocating that agencies adopt best practices, develop energy-efficient data centers and educate technology professionals and energy managers. FEMP compiled the following resources to aid agencies implement energy efficient data centers:

  • Best practices – Best practices for Data Center design spanning systems that are energy efficient, air management, environmental conditions, electrical and cooling systems, heat recovery and on site generation.
  • Power supplies – Information targeting global dialogue on energy efficient supply of power especially power consumption in the “on” or active mode. Green grid study, non- redundant power distribution configuration for data centers.
  • Servers and Storage – Product specification for computer servers qualified by the ENERGY STAR.
  • Cooling Systems – Use of Rack or Row devices, Airflow management, wireless sensors, high density server cooling and liquid cooling.
  • Data center benchmarking and metrics – Use of National Snow and Ice Data center, High performance computing, Metrics for measuring green grid productivity and efficiency in data centers and self- bench marking for data center energy performance.

Considering that efficient power usage mechanisms like eliminating unused servers, adopting energy efficient servers and efficient air flow management are implemented in data centers and also considering best practices like use of power management programs, liquid cooling and combined power and heat consumption will see consumption of power go down from 120 to 30 billion Kilowatt hours of energy consumption.

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