Your data center is a vital part of your business, but it doesn’t necessarily have to take a requisite chunk out of your bottom line. New innovations in energy efficient and green design are being applied to data center creation and upkeep in a variety of exciting ways, and harnessing that momentum is as simple as looking to the “big guys” for guidance.
Balancing Power Demand
Servers are the most power-hungry components of a data center, but certain operations simply don’t require those huge spikes in power consumption. Recently, The Power Collective’s Jeff St. John highlighted a convention demo by PowerAssure and RagingWire that demonstrated special servers that could shift their own power load requirements. These servers would power down or rein in their own sections as they approached low-use times, conserving energy to feed higher-power needs during peak capacity. Obviously, even this sophisticated technology would need oversight to ensure it was working correctly, but it’s a promising step towards a power-sipping, auto-balancing data center. Consider adding a bank of these smart servers – or ones that use a similar concept – to your data center to improve power efficiency.
Using Renewable Resources
Facebook, the juggernaut of the social media world, obviously needs a great deal of capacity in its data centers to serve a staggering number of subscribers that’s growing by the minute. DataCenter Dynamic’s Yevgeniy Sverdlik reports that their latest data center, based in Altoona, Iowa, is destined to be fully carbon-neutral, thanks to 25% of their power being generated by a nearby wind farm. Solar, wind, heat reclaimation technology and other renewable sources of power are not only free or considerably more affordable than traditional power, they are important tools towards bringing companies in line with more stringent environmental standards. Rather than needing to backtrack and revamp an entire data center when faced with new carbon footprint legislation, incorporate these natural, earth-friendly resources into your current design to be ready for the change.
Take a Critical Eye
No matter what changes or upgrades are making headlines, the most important part of ensuring energy efficiency in your data center is knowing it. From traditional insulation to external cooling vents, even small steps can make a big difference. Be sure to talk to your employees, IT staff and relevant insiders to determine where you can trim the fat in your center’s energy consumption – you may be pleasantly surprised!
Sources: http://theenergycollective.com/jeffstjohn/315021/putting-smart-grid-enabled-data-center-test, http://theenergycollective.com/jeffstjohn/315021/putting-smart-grid-enabled-data-center-test, https://www.datacenterdynamics.com/focus/archive/2013/11/facebook-says-iowa-data-center-will-be-100-carbon-neutral