As energy efficiency becomes a front-and-center issue for data center operators everywhere, the fact remains that our industry is responsible for as much as two percent of total U.S. electricity use, which is clearly a lot of power. It’s no secret that power saving is a huge priority for operators everywhere.
Thanks to a sharp spike in demand for data from consumers (one that isn’t going away anytime soon, thank goodness), the demand for power in data centers has also risen drastically. Hyperscale players such as Facebook, Google and Microsoft are working on ways to cut energy consumption, but in the meantime, here are a few tips you can put into practice in your data center today.
- Improve hardware architecture: Drop energy costs by decommissioning old, inefficient equipment while keeping your firmware and software up to date.
- Consider virtualization: Direct physical server usage wastes a lot of power, not to mention storage. Virtualization lets facilities scale up or down the number of servers dedicated to an application.
- Try low-energy memory: Dynamic random access memory (DRAM) is a major power draw. By substituting DRAMs with flash-based memory, data centers can realize significant savings. Still, flash storage can be slow, which has led to new technologies such as a mix of flash and DRAM for a better balance between speed and energy draw.
- Go green: Sure, everyone talks about being environmentally friendly, but those who have committed to it have seen the long-term ROI such an approach can result in. By proactively designing for variable green energy sources, you’re not only making a commitment to the earth, but to your company’s future, as well.
- Look at your cooling system: A lot of heat escapes the data center, with cooling systems being responsible for 40 percent of total energy usage in facilities. While some companies are pioneering sci-fi ideas such as underwater data centers and water pipes to carry heat away, others are experimenting with liquid cooling.
As you watch for trends and best practices to keep your data center’s power savings in check, keep in mind that sometimes the best way to save money is to practice regular maintenance and cleaning. If you need help with any of the above, get in touch with Instor today.