As data center outlay have escalated, IT operators are looking for more innovative approaches that could aid in lowering the growing IT overhead as well as the carbon emission. Green technology is now been considered as an hot-button issue, but experts claim that not all the solutions available to promote green data centers are constructive. For as some experts say that if certain green initiatives implemented and done rightly can contribute in increasing energy efficiency, cut down carbon footprint and multiply ROI.
While organizations are willing to invest on green technology, experts say that it is not just about spending money, but knowing where to start. So where do you start from? These FAQs can help you design a strategic plan.
Why should I care about implementing a green data center?
According to a survey conducted by the Uptime Institute, it was reported that 42% of enterprise data center managers were expecting to run out of electricity within a couple of years, whereas 23% of them claimed they would exceed the capacity in 2-5 years. Electricity is the lifeline of IT and data center operators who expect to run out of essential IT resources such as cooling, power or physical space have already taken a step toward greener practices.
Experts also claim that many other IT infrastructure operators are not concerned about power consumption because they give priority to reliability and performance. However, this behavior is likely to change as power consumption continues to surge. According to IDC, for every $1.00 invested on a new IT facility hardware, an additional $0.50 amount is spent only on power and cooling purpose, which is more that double the cost of a couple of years ago.
After labor, electricity is the largest operating cost in IT facility and it just can't be ignored. Gartner predicts that of the overall data center estimates, 48% is being spent on power, which is 8% higher that it was a few years ago. Implementing renewable resources can help manage disposable and recyclable fees. Another approach is to measure data center energy efficiency because if you don't understand the efficiency level, you won't be able to control the capacity. This includes measuring energy usage, heat waste, and carbon emissions.
What measures can help to increase the efficiency of my data center's IT hardware?
Experts say that if data center operators want to save huge, then nothing can be as good and effective as using virtualization technology. Virtualization enables consolidation and elimination of underutilized servers and storage. In addition, it also helps in increasing server utilization rates from 10% to 15%, thereby improving power efficiency.
Virtualization allows users to use fewer servers, thus cutting-down energy intake and heat wastage. Calculating the energy wastage rate, only 15% to 45% of incoming energy is wasted before it even hits the IT load. Virtualized servers are highly efficient as the equipment operates at 92% or 93% efficiency rate and it never drops its efficiency level below 80%, even when utilization is low.
IT managers must ensure to design and build energy-efficient efficient IT equipment that will not only reduce energy consumption, but will have least impact on environment.
How can I increase efficiency of my data center's cooling systems?
Upgrading cooling system at data center facilities can additionally help in improving energy efficiency. However, you just can't go an upgrade all the cooling equipment; firstly you need to go back and analyze all the things that you weren't concerned about some years ago. You need to understand what's exactly wrong with your cooling systems so that you can implement the right things to improve them.
Airflow optimization is the basic improvement data center operators can do to promote efficiency. Inefficient flow of air in the server room such as airflow blockages or air leaks can lead to substantial losses. To patch the gaps, IT managers don't need to look out for high-end solutions, instead they can use basic steps such as installing hot aisle/cold aisle containment, sealing off cable openings, clearing underflow obstructions and so on. These simple steps can make big difference.
Implementing hot aisle/cold aisle containment can deplete energy wastage. Consider installing partial containment over full containment, which is closing off the ends. This technique can help increase efficiency by 80%. Next option is data center providers can use economizers that operates by leveraging outdoor cool air to cool the IT facilities during winter. There are several other sophisticated technique that IT managers can implement for better cooling such as Kyoto cooling, adiabatic cooling and more.