The latest trend in the data center industry is creating lean and green data centers. This has to do with much more than concern for the environment and is a viable business strategy to remain competitive. Going lean allows data centers to improve their efficiency or produce more output for the same resources, and going green allows data centers to reduce costs substantially. Adopting these two concepts therefore provides a great competitive advantage for data centers.
The concept of a lean data center entails creating more value using lesser resources. The basic approach towards lean data centers is virtualizing and consolidating. Virtualization, for instance, makes it possible to replace six racks of heat-belching servers to just four highly-contained physical machines, with a hybrid storage system combining both solid-state and serial ATA drives thrown into the mix. This initiative automatically furthers the cause of "green" data center by drastically reducing the energy and cooling requirements.
However, methods to go lean extend beyond simple virtualization. Here are some other ways:
- By opting for higher power density server racks, this helps in not just operational efficiency, but it also meest specific needs of the customer.
- Co-opting or benchmarking the latest advancements in software development, such as Facebook’s Hip Hop for PHP engine to speed up code execution, increases the processing capacity of servers.
- Working to establish a greater degree of granular control over servers and clusters will allow appropriate provisioning factoring in peak workloads and growth in users, and, at the same time, keep utilization levels always high for higher returns.
- Designing server rooms with pillars and air-conditioning units set outside will help the entire space be put to optimal use. Furthermore, there are no restraints in adopting the most efficient design. This also maximizes the gross floor area (GFA), allowing the data centers to allocate more space to existing or new customers.
The savings from these initiatives allows data centers to add to their capacity without compromising investment in more resources. When combined with green initiatives that aim to reduce operating costs, especially energy costs, it offers a significant competitive advantage, enabling data centers to deliver more for less.
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