It’s a dilemma that is expected to continually gain scrutiny over the next few years: Data centers will be expected to find more energy efficient ways of operating, cutting down on their amount of consumption. At the same time, the demand for capacity will grow at an accelerated rate.
There’s another underlying problem. According to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), many data centers are not just using a massive amount of energy — they’re consuming more than they actually need.
The report revealed that if America’s 3 million data centers adopted best practices that could lead to half of savings potential, they could cut electricity consumption by up to 40 percent — a savings of $3.8 billion, enough to provide electricity to all the households in the state of Michigan.
To address a data center’s PUE (power usage effectiveness), steps must be taken to operate at a more optimal level, said Kelly Quinn, a research manager at IDC. Quinn noted that most enterprises are operating “very far from optimal efficiency,” as a result spending more than required on power. “It’s always been a problem, but people are becoming more conscious of it now,” Quinn said in a Forbes.com blog.
In the same report, NRDC pointed to the use of colocation and hybrid IT as the key to reducing data center energy use. The formula? Colocation for renting out services of a professional data center and hybrid IT for managing some IT resources internally along with cloud-based services.
“A colocation provider works so hard to keep its PUE ratios down,” Quinn said in the Forbes blog. “Consequently, they are able to provide ... better or lower power costs.”
According to the Uptime Institute, the typical data center has an average PUE of 2.5 although many could reach a more optimal level of 1.6 PUE by using more efficient equipment and best practices.
Data centers also can work on reducing energy by checking cooling systems designed to keep the data centers running at optimal levels. This can include updating equipment, checking, cleaning and replacing filters, and improving airflow.
Lifeline Data Centers, a colocation provider with facilities in Indiana, is committed to operating with energy efficiency as a priority. Schedule a tour to find out how we can help you reduce your footprint.