Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Data Center Energy Efficiency in 2009

In my last post, I talked about how it will be more important than ever for data centers to increase their operating efficiencies in the coming year. But, as I’m sure you know, this isn’t a new issue. Boosting energy efficiency in data centers has been a major concern for the past few years, in both the public and private sectors. Doing so will help to produce large energy savings, enhance data center reliability, and cut carbon emissions by reducing the load on the electric grid.

To reach these goals, equipment suppliers are introducing more energy efficient technologies, data center operators are stepping up efforts to reduce energy consumption in their buildings, and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have moved to address the issue by initiating a joint national data center energy efficiency information program. PTS helps our clients reach their efficiency goals through our power and cooling systems analysis, as well as via our CFD modeling services.

Now, with the recession in full swing, the financial impact of high data center energy consumption is becoming an even more pressing issue for corporations. In light of this, I'd like to share an article I came across in the latest issue of Wall Street & Technology, titled “5 Tips to Cut Data Center Energy Use”. It talks about how Gartner, a leading IT research and consulting firm, has outlined 11 best practices for cooling that can help dramatically improve data center energy efficiency.

While you have to buy the full Gartner report to get all 11 practices, the WS&T article gives you the top 5 for free. Here’s a quick rundown:

1. Plug Holes in the Raised Floor.
2. Install Blanking Panels.
3. Coordinate CRAC Units.
4. Improve Underfloor Airflow.
5. Implement Hot Aisles and Cold Aisles.

For more info on data center energy efficiency, I invite you to download our newest white paper, titled “Power Moves: Understanding what you know - and don't know - about power usage in your data center”.

Until next time, happy holidays and best wishes for a prosperous new year!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Get the Most Out of Your Data Center in 2009

With the economy in turmoil and fears of recession keeping corporate budgets tight, it’s important that organizations get the most bang-for-the-buck with their IT resources. With that in mind, I’d like to recommend another article that looks to the coming year with a proactive mindset.

Utility Automation & Engineering T&D and Electric Light & Power online recently published the “Top 10 Ways to Get More from Your Data Center in 2009”, as outlined by Chuck Spears of Emerson Network Power. The suggestions include:

1. Cover your bases.
2. Look inside before outside.
3. Assess before action.
4. Go from room to rack.
5. Cap the cold aisle.
6. Check the weather forecast.
7. Watch often, if not always.
8. Improve energy utilization.
9. Avoid cutting corners.
10. Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow.

While the article acknowledges that “[t]he coming year will undoubtedly require data center and IT managers to get maximum value from their facility without making significant enhancements”, it urges data center managers to bear in mind that “numerous opportunities exist throughout the data center to do more with less.”

I like to frame it in the following terms: “Sometimes adversity is what you need to face in order to become successful.” Lean times can help trim the fat from your operations and can encourage your business to make the most of what it has. In doing so, your organization may emerge stronger than ever before.