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Energy-Saving Tips for Your Data Center

Clemens Pfeiffer, Power Assure’s CTO, posted on his company’s site a list of 10 steps IT and facility managers can take to “improve efficiency without compromising reliability.” Here’s a sampling of the first three.

Tip #1. Reducing power consumption for cooling

In a typical data center, roughly half of available power available is used by equipment; the other half is devoted to cooling. Pfeiffer says a good bit of this cooling power can be eliminated by correcting “cooling inefficiencies, upgrading the cooling system to allow for variable cooling, and/or making greater use of outside air.” For further savings, right-sizing your UPS and power distribution equipment.

Tip #2: Consolidate and virtualize

One of the biggest benefits of virtualization, as we all know, is that servers can run more efficiently. Forget idle servers or underused servers. According to Pfeiffer, “Virtualizing the servers can increase overall utilization from around 10% (typical of dedicated servers) to between 20% and 30% and over 50% with more dynamic management systems.” Another benefit: regaining precious rack space.

Tip #3: Calibrate and monitor cold aisle temperatures

Peiffer suggests you adopt “a hot/cold aisle configuration and increase the cold aisle inlet temperatures to 80.6°F (27°C) as recommended by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).” He admits that hot/cold aisle configurations “can create hot spots that waste power and cause outages,” so you’ll have to balance your equipment -- experiment, measure, and recalibrate. “Continuously monitoring the cold aisle temperature maximizes cooling efficiency and minimizes problems.”

To read the complete list, visit http://www.powerassure.com/press/pr166-10-tips-to-improve-data-center-efficiency.

-- James E. Powell
Editorial Director, ESJ

Posted on 09/18/2012 at 11:53 AM