Posted By Industry Perspectives On April 28, 2011 @ 8:30 am In Industry Perspectives | 2 Comments
With the high costs of power, energy efficiency has rapidly become a critical consideration when evaluating data centers. It is, perhaps, second only to performance when deciding upon data center facility and information technology (IT) network design. Higher energy consumption is a recurring cost that can add dramatically to operating expense over time. Furthermore, devices that consume more power require more cooling which not only further increases energy costs but impacts the physical design of the data center.
Data center designers, manufacturers of data center facility infrastructure, and IT infrastructure manufacturers have recently flooded the market with estimated energy efficiency savings through the use of various facility and product design techniques. It is best practice to validate these claims by performing Energy Efficiency Assessments. These assessments are completed by performing spot measurements and calculations of a site’s Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) and Data Center Infrastructure Efficiency (DCiE) ratios. These measurements allow data center consultants to compare the data center against industry standards to estimate the energy efficiency of the facility. In fact, the assessment of these ratios helps determine where the most potential exists for substantial cost savings.
Once an initial assessment is completed, a systematic plan and analysis leads to a series of recommendations available to improve energy efficiency and consumption in the facility without sacrificing performance or availability. The intent is to verify the most significant energy savings measures that can be implemented to reduce energy consumption and then building and implementing an action plan to complete these measures.
Ultimately, by performing Energy Efficiency Assessments on a number of data center environments (both large and small as the savings scale) to create a baseline and then implementing the recommendations and re-measuring energy usage, IT load reductions is best area of focus. This has the dual benefit of reducing energy consumption on the primary IT load as well as realizing energy savings on facility support infrastructure as a result of lower cooling energy usage required to cool the IT load.
We recommend several specific strategies when considering improvements or new design elements in achieving energy-efficient IT operations. These strategies include:
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