Developing practical approaches to data center efficiency was a major theme at last week's Uptime Institue conference in Orlando, titled "The Invisible Crisis In The Data Center." The event was summarized in several interesting articles at Tech Target's SearchDataCenter site. One article summarizes recommendations from the Uptime Institute's Robert Sullivan on finding savings within your data center. These included:
- Turning off unused servers and storage. Sullivan has anecdotal data showing that 7 to 20 percent of servers and storage devices aren't being used, even though they're still on.
- Tuning computer room air-conditioner (CRAC) units. A survey by Uptime found that 10 percent of CRACs weren't providing any cold air at all, and up to one-quarter weren't working properly.
- Improving airflow in the data center by sealing openings in the raised floor. Only 40 percent of cold air from CRACs is reaching its intended target because of unsealed openings in the raised floor and bad airflow design in the data center, according to Uptime.
- Using virtualization software to up CPU utilization rates and either retire older servers or repurpose them.
The Uptime Institute is best known for its tier system of data center classification. The consortium's mission is to help member companies avoid downtime and optimize their site infrastructure investment.