Saving Through Data Center Scheduling

The Planet says it will be able to save $500,000 over the next year by standardizing on 12-hour work shifts in the data center.

How many hours do staffers work in your data centers? As it looked for ways to be more efficient in managing its data center, The Planet examined shift lengths for its data center operations staff. The Houston-based dedicated hosting specialist says it will be able to save $500,000 over the next year by standardizing on 12 hour work shifts. Scott King explains on The Planet's company blog:

With the new schedule, our employees work 12 hours each day in a two-week rotation. In one week they'll work three days, followed by four days the following week. These schedules actually provide more people on each shift throughout the entire day, and also eliminate wasted time overlaps between shifts and days with double staff. Every technician affected by the schedule change alternates three- and four-day weekends. Because the shifts are longer, each technician comes into the office seven out of every 14 days, compared with 10 out of every 14 days with the old schedules. The new schedule also streamlines our support communications, especially with regard to ownership and handoffs. We're eliminating a few shift changes in the middle of the day, so projects and tickets aren't as likely to bounce between shifts.

The scheduling refinement follows an energy reduction program that The Planet says will save it more than $1 million in power costs in 2008. Most of that savings was accomplished by optimizing the cooling systems at the company's six data centers, where it hosts more than 6.7 million web sites for 22,000 customers. The company reported a 31 percent reduction in the power it uses for cooling.

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