Since 1991, October is observed as the National Energy Awareness Month in America. It was first targeted at private and government sector organizations, but this year, the focus is on the US data center industry. The industry consumed 91 billion kilowatt hours in 2013. According to NRCDC (National Resources Defense Council), this consumption is expected to rise at a rate of 40% every year through 2020, rising to 140 billion kilowatt-hours, costing businesses $13 billion dollars and releasing 150 metric tons of carbon. Here is how businesses can manage energy efficiency in their data center.
Set Benchmark Standards for Power Utilization
You cannot reduce energy consumption if you don’t measure it. So, you should rely on automated utilization data to check the working capacity of your servers and their usage trends, then make decisions about energy consumption. You should rely on a metric such as Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) for measuring performance of data centers. This measurement is the ratio of energy consumption of the facility to the number of equipment.
Establish Remote Power Control
Why do you keep your servers on during the weekends when they are not in use? You can easily identify non-production servers and turn them off when they are not used. You can employ a remote power cycling program for determining non-peak times for the server.
Consolidate and Decommission Non-Performing Servers
Various studies confirm that server utilization was merely 12% - 18% between 2006 and 2012, which means only one server is worthy of being used in the rack power strip bearing five servers. You can easily save energy by replacing older non-performing servers with newer energy saver ones. Additionally, you can save by clustering servers, sizing down applications on a server and combining applications on a single server and a single operating system. Outlet level metering performed on rack power distribution will help to understand power utilization of servers.
The Uptime Institute confirms that by withdrawing a 1U rack power server, you may save $2500, split between $1,500 on annual hardware maintenance costs, $500 in energy conservation and $500 in operating system licenses.
Position Environment Sensors to Your Racks
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, or ASHRAE, recommends positioning humidity and temperature sensors on the rack in order to identify data center temperatures. Data centers can make significant savings by reducing their cooling charges.