Energy saved is energy produced as per an old cliché. This can be the most appropriate objective in data center environment because administrators of data center facilities across the globe are exploring newer ways to save costs through conservation of energy. One of the most innovative ways to save electricity is by making effective use of available resources. Since a data center consumes significant amount of energy for running cooling and heating equipment, it is but natural that majority of policies are focused on effective use of electricity for operating climate control systems.
 
Mapping Energy Inefficiencies
 
Before, you start exploring new techniques for achieving higher level of energy efficiency, it is logical to search for inefficient systems that may be responsible for unnecessary consumption of vital energy resources. These may include obsolete transformers, distribution or supply equipment such as UPS or PDS to name a few. It is found that Power Usage Effectiveness ratio is adversely influenced by outdated energy equipment in majority of data center facilities.
 
Energy Conservation In A Data Center

Thanks to the emergence of Internet of Things and other technologies, there is a never before pressure on data centers to deliver greater levels of performance as more and more personal devices are connected via the medium of internet. It is obvious that there would be an increase in power consumption by data centers while catering to these demands.
 
The hard earned power efficiency of most of the data centers would be under great threat as the facilities struggle to make better and more effective use of available resources. Optimization of processes to reduce energy requirements will not be enough as servers will be under incremental stress to perform more number of activities. Operators of data centers will have no other option than to devise alternative strategies if they are to effectively control power consumption pattern of the data center infrastructure.
 
One of the most ingenious ways to bring a drastic reduction in consumption of energy for running cooling and air conditioning equipment has been adopted by a leading social media organization. The company selected a location for their data center facility that offered ideal climatic conditions to eliminate the need for cooling devices. Natural environment can be your best resource for mitigation of energy requirement.
 
This may sound a very naïve idea but it has resulted in saving an awesome amount of energy and expenditure. Surprisingly, there are ridiculously less number of organizations that have used site location as a means to achieve energy efficiency. Locations across North American region can be ideally considered for this purpose. Air economizers offer remarkable potential to leverage cooler air from the outside environment to reduce energy consumption.
 
You can make a great deal of difference only by educating all stakeholders and employees to save precious energy resources. Similarly, energy can also be saved by getting associated with data center with proven experience of conserving energy without compromising operational efficiency.

Dig Deeper Into Cooling Alternative

It may not be always possible to build a data center at a location with natural environment to obviate use of air conditioning equipment. In such situation, you need to revisit cooling options and analyze these to find the most optimum practice for conserving energy. One should remember that efforts to enhance energy efficiency through cooling containment must begin at the data center planning stage itself.

Isolation of cool air inlets from outlets that vent out hot air is a well-accepted practice to prolong the effect of cooling for reducing energy consumption. Similar strategy should be adopted to deploy measures for cooling containment. In this process, greater energy efficiency is achieved by making more efficient use of cold air by separating it from the flow of hot air.
 
Cooling containment is achieved through exhaustive planning and the measures need to be put in practice religiously. Effective separation of aisles that carry hot air and cold air is easier said than done. It demands smart use of several methods including use of panels and curtains. Factors that influence the cooling efficiency are design and location of facility. Unutilized rack-space needs to be blocked for optimization of cooling rather than cosmetic considerations. Alternating areas of hot and cold air can be designed while installing rows of racks.
 
Space Optimization

Data center’s floor space must be used according to changing needs of equipment with advent of server virtualization technologies. This will definitely include implementation of a modular data center design to allow frequent design alterations in a flexible data center infrastructure.

Takeaway

Continuous technology upheaval, rise in the cost of power, and exponential rise in data processing needs necessitate implementation of a multi-pronged approach for conservation of energy in a data center infrastructure. The steps may include reduction of power needs by improving use of cooling systems, getting rid of power guzzling and outdated equipment, and revisiting the design of data center in the context of server virtualization.

 

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