Data Centers Go Green: Current Top Energy-Saving Strategies

July 30, 2014

"For a number of years now, there has been considerable pressure on the data center industry to improve its sustainable, environmentally friendly practices. As a sector known not only for its computing power, but also the vast amounts of energy consumed, facility operators are now looking at any and all strategies to reduce their environmental impact.

Although every little bit helps, there are certain sustainability approaches that are better than others. In this spirit, let's take a look at some of the top energy-saving techniques being used in the industry today.

Leverage Open Standards
According to The Economic Times, one strategy being implemented is the increased use of open standards-based solutions. An open standards approach to technology has the potential to boost data center efficiency and ensure that all computing equipment is being fully utilized. In addition, this method can also provide rising levels of flexibility and agility that is especially helpful when it comes time for future expansion.

""Instead of opting for single-vendor solutions, seeking out the best available solutions based on open standards will help in tying together multiple technologies that can be integrated in centralized management tools,"" noted The Economic Times contributor Neeraj Matiyani.

Consolidate And Virtualize
Server virtualization is by no means a new strategy for the data center industry, but it is still a leading approach for reducing a facility's environmental impact. The technique makes sense in such a case, as David Leland, Dimension Data head of architecture and DatacenterDynamics contributor, noted that oftentimes, servers only use up to 15 percent of their total capacity for a single application. By consolidating these machines to make the most of their abilities and creating virtualized environments, the amount of energy being used to power underutilized servers is vastly reduced.

""With appropriate analysis and consolidation, many of these devices can be combined into a single physical server that consumes only a fraction of the power of the original devices - resulting in cost savings as well as creating a more environmentally sustainable data center environment,"" Leland wrote.

Leland added that although consolidation and virtualization can present a number of complicated challenges, the benefits of the approach make it worth it. These advantages include boosted program availability as well as improved business continuity, not to mention the sustainability perks.

Rework The Floor Plan Design
Leland also suggested rethinking the data center's floor plan to provide for the best airflow and cooling. Such an approach can prevent the facility from wasting resources to expel the excess heat created by servers in an efficient layout. Best practices for data center floor plans include utilizing a hot/cold aisle arrangement, evenly distributing power across the racks and reducing or eliminating underfloor cabling systems.

Benchmark with PUE
Before any sustainability efforts are put into place, facility administrators should gauge their progress with the data center's PUE, or Power Usage Effectiveness, rating. By taking an accurate PUE before and after new approaches are implemented, supervisors can gain insight into how these steps have helped and how much energy is actually being utilized and saved.

Customers want Energy Efficient Solutions for their Data Center. (Picture taken from www.channelinsider.com)"



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    "For a number of years now, there has been considerable pressure on the data center industry to improve its sustainable, environmentally friendly practices. As a sector known not only for its computing power, but also the vast amounts of energy consumed, facility operators are now looking at any and all ...