Data Center Efficiency Begins with Strategy

Posted by Instor on Jul 7, 2017 6:10:00 AM

Data centers are resource-intensive endeavors. Even small inefficiencies in data center setup and maintenance can accumulate and lead to expensive waste of time and money. Learn more about how to achieve top efficiency in your data center today. 

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Top Tips for Data Center Efficiency

Designing an efficient data center requires a clear strategy. Managers should pay attention to the system and structural requirements. Large data centers consume huge amounts of energy and generate a lot of heat. Often reliability is a higher priority than efficiency. However, awareness of the key areas of opportunity can improve your chances of running a more efficient data center.

 System Level Efficiency 

  • Server Virtualization and Application Containerization: Running a single application on a single server is a waste of CPU and memory cycles. Modern virtualization and container technology allow multiple applications to run on the same resource. Consolidating multiple servers or applications can lead to higher efficiency in power and server space usage.
  • Server Usage Optimization: Unused servers still consume energy. A regular audit system that helps facility managers take off decommissioned servers can generate 10% to 40% energy savings.
  • Better Data Storage: Data is a valuable commodity. However, organizations can lose control in their data replication efforts. There are often multiple copies of the same data wasting storage space. Additional data means additional servers. Regular data cleaning can help data centers keep the number of servers down.
  • Energy-Efficient High-Quality Server Components: Data center equipment has a long life span. It makes sense to purchase high-quality energy-efficient components even if they are more expensive. The savings from efficient power usage and low maintenance cost will provide the necessary return on investment.

Structural Efficiency

  • Hot Aisle and Cold Aisle Layout: Large data centers organize their racks to make sure that the fronts of the servers face each other and the backs of the servers face each other. This arrangement makes it easier to navigate the racks. Also, the front facing aisles have cold air and the back facing aisles have hot air. This arrangement helps with temperature maintenance.
  • Better HVAC System Implementation: A high-quality HVAC system can contribute to better temperature and air flow maintenance. HVAC systems can use variable speed fans, air-side economizers, and water-side economizers to circulate air and water from inside of the facility to the outside world. It can dramatically improve heat dissipation mechanisms and keep data centers energy-efficient.
  • Power Consumption Optimization: Various servers work at various power levels. It is possible to find actual server power consumption capacity using PAR4 measurement techniques specified by Underwriters Laboratories UL2640 standard. It means servers can work at optimum levels without overburdening the power supply.

 Strategic Efficiency 

  • IT Facility Procedures and Management: Having well-managed procedures for day-to-day and emergency situations can make a huge difference in data center health. Maintaining metrics and checking regularly to find inefficiencies can lead to better environmental control and resource utilization.
  • Load Balancing Across Data Centers: Today most data centers are built with redundancy in place. These extra resources are often under-utilized. Data center managers can look at the patterns of usage and time-of-day utility pricing to save money. For example, with facilities in different time zones, managers can move around the workload across data centers and lower cost.

Improving efficiency can help lower operational costs and minimize risk factors. It requires vigilance and planning. Through concentrating on critical components, IT managers can improve the quality of their data centers dramatically.

 

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Topics: Efficiency

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