Data centers support every facet of business and element of daily life, creating a relentless drive for greater speed, performance and cost savings.
In a previous post on the EcoDataCenter being built in Sweden, we showed how the data centers of the near future will look extremely different. The role that power use plays around data center performance and cost is enormous – efficiency is naturally found by reducing power consumption and improving power usage effectiveness (PUE).
Worldwide, data center power and cooling infrastructure wastes more than 60,000,000 megawatt-hours per year of electricity—energy not used to power IT equipment. This is a colossal financial burden for our industry, and now a key public policy issue.
Consider: in a typical 2N redundant data center (running at half load), only 47 percent of the electricity powers the IT equipment. The other 53 percent is almost completely consumed by cooling infrastructure and other overhead, and ultimately converted to heat. This might as well be dollars evaporating into the atmosphere. Meanwhile, electricity usage costs are an ever-increasing fraction of the total cost of ownership (TCO).
It’s easy to see how reducing power use saves money even as performance grows. Three ways to do this are:
Retiring & Consolidating IT equipment: This has become a lot easier. Building in modular “chunks” helps, while allowing the data center to grow with demand or shrink as needed.
Virtualization and cloud: A bit trickier because heat can become centralized on high-powered servers. Spread servers throughout the data center, or make the investments in cooling if on one rack.
Right-sizing equipment and cooling has the potential to eliminate up to 50 percent of the electrical bill.
High-efficiency UPS: The latest UPS systems perform exponentially well at lighter loads. Actual loss can be reduced by 65 percent, since power must not be used to cool wasted heat.
Systematic effort can actually reduce electrical consumption up to 90 percent.
We’ll be exploring more ways you can improve data center cost reductions in upcoming blog posts so stay tuned.
In the meantime, to learn more about ways to cut costs through reducing power consumption, check out the Schneider Electric whitepaper, Implementing Energy Efficient Data Centers.
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