Energy efficiency is a critical component to consider when building or upgrading a data center. Improving energy efficiency in a data center can be defined as the ratio of valuable work to consumed energy. It also refers to the amount of waste heat a process or system generates.
Improving Energy Efficiency in a Data Center
Data centers are designed to be as energy efficient as possible. They use several strategies to reduce the amount of power they consume, from using free cooling instead of air conditioning to designing buildings with natural ventilation. But even after all that work, there’s still room for improvement.
Optimize HVAC systems and shift the focus on energy efficiency
Limit Cooling Costs
Switch from traditional air cooling to liquid immersion cooling systems. Liquid immersion systems can reduce electricity costs by up to 90% compared with conventional air cooling systems while promising fewer maintenance issues and increased reliability due to their reduced noise levels compared to traditional air cooling systems.
Use a Cold-Aisle Containment Strategy
This strategy involves routing cool air from your chillers into one section of the rack room, where it circulates freely among all racks. The rest of the room contains hot air from servers vented directly back into the room as exhaust air through floor grilles.
The best way to understand how this works is by looking at how air flows through a typical data center.
Air enters the facility through vents on each side of the rack and travels across the top of each server cabinet before going out through vents on either side of the cabinet. This is known as hot-aisle containment.
In a cold-aisle containment strategy, some or all of these vents are closed off so that air flows only down one side of each rack. This means that cool air is directed directly into each cabinet, allowing it to stay cool longer and use less energy than it would if traveling across many cabinets at once.
On-Demand Cooling Systems
While many data centers use chillers to provide cold water for their cooling systems, others do not do that because of the cost and complexity.
An alternative is to use an on-demand cooling system that uses chilled water or dehumidified air to cool the server racks. In this approach, the server rack is cooled directly by piping chilled water directly into it and then exhausts waste heat through a heat exchanger into the environment.
This allows a data center to eliminate the need for chillers that require large amounts of energy and maintenance. It also eliminates the need for water pumps and other equipment to move water through pipes between the chiller and each rack in a data center.
Energy efficiency is a key concern for data center managers, and reducing power usage can save tens of thousands of dollars annually.
As organizations reduce their carbon footprint, they are also saving money on the cost of electricity. The most effective way to reduce energy consumption is through power distribution units (PDUs) that provide advanced power management features.
These PDUs make it easier to remotely control power usage in individual racks or zones within a data center, allowing operators to adjust how much power is being used at any given time.
This can be done manually or automatically through advanced algorithms that vary the amount of power provided based on cooling needs and other factors related to equipment performance.
Advanced power distribution units can also monitor and report on actual power consumption, which helps ensure that organizations are only paying for what they use.
Deploy Energy Monitoring & Targeting solutions and reduce the data center energy consumption by 10-15%.
Use More Efficient Hardware
Using more efficient hardware can help you cut energy costs by as much as 30 percent. It’s also much easier than retrofitting your existing hardware since you don’t have to change any other components in your data center.
Use servers with lower idle power consumption. Today’s servers have multiple cores, meaning they’ll consume more power when doing nothing than if only one core were active.
You can reduce idle power consumption by turning off unnecessary cores or switching them off altogether when not in use, such as during maintenance periods.
Consolidate Infrastructure / Virtualized Environments
Reduce load on physical infrastructure components by balancing workloads across multiple virtual machines (VMs). This helps reduce power usage since each VM requires its own hardware resources, such as CPU, memory, and storage space, to operate effectively.
By distributing the workload among multiple VMs, a data center can reduce the overall load on each physical infrastructure component while still meeting business needs.
Use virtualization software to consolidate multiple physical servers into one VM on a single server that provides similar services as those previously provided by multiple physical servers. This reduces both capital costs as well as power consumption.
The world’s data centers use about 50 billion watts of electricity annually, which is expected to grow by another 50 percent by 2020. With those numbers in mind, it’s no wonder that the industry is on a mission to improve energy efficiency.
One of the most essential factors in reducing energy consumption is maintaining proper airflow in your data center. This will help keep equipment cool and the air flowing, so that dust and dirt are not allowed to build up.
In addition to reducing costs, power management can also help to improve operational efficiency by preventing outages and improving uptime.
In fact, according to research conducted by the Uptime Institute, an unplanned outage in a data center costs an average of $3 million per minute in lost revenue.
The concept of efficiency has evolved on environmental issues. Green data center is a trend in designing and implementing a new generation of data centers.
The benefits of green data centers are obvious: lower energy costs reduced carbon footprints, and increased employee morale. But how can businesses efficiently reap these rewards?
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