In an age of heightened competition, only data centers that deliver excellent value to their clients can hope to survive and thrive. Regardless of how a data center positions itself to offer better value, cutting costs and becoming more efficient is paramount. The problem becomes even more accentuated since data centers become afflicted with issues such as server sprawl, aging power infrastructure or machines replaced but never decommissioned, which lead to inefficiencies, high power bills and more.
The way forward for these data centers is to become “lean and mean.” However, this requires a major revamp, and with data centers required to run 24×7 and with 100% uptime, this is easier said than done.
The first step towards becoming lean and mean is to virtualize and consolidate. This requires taking a thorough equipment inventory to identify servers drawing power but not performing any function, locating unnecessary cabling and eliminating such wastes. Side by side, it is also essential to replace obsolete equipment, such as blade servers, with newer equipment that use less power and space. There are data centers that have replaced six racks of heat-belching servers with bulky uninterruptable power supply systems, with a highly contained system of 100+ virtual servers on just seven physical machines and just two UPS systems.
Another important step to become lean and mean is to redesign the data center layout to a hot-aisle/cold-aisle setup and containerizing the server racks to avoid cooling unnecessary sections of the room. This combined with the use of new chip-based cooling technologies improve energy efficiency substantially.
There are other strategies to reduce energy usage, such as proper sealing of the data center to reduce unnecessary humidification or dehumidification, or optimizing airflow through intelligent rack arrangement and air conditioner placement. Considering that cooling accounts for about 37% of the total energy costs of a data center, the savings can be substantial, even cutting the power bill by half and eliminating the need for higher tonnage air conditioners.
The key towards data centers becoming “lean and mean,” and more importantly, sustaining it, is to monitor key parameters on a continuous basis and also keep track of latest innovations to adopt it in a timely manner.
Lifeline Data Centers is a lean and mean data center that can easily scale with your business. Contact us today for a quote.