How to Ensure a Greener Data Center?

Data centers, the host of data storage, applications, and processes for a number of computers, are rising in numbers at a very good pace and so is its power consumption. Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) states [1] that 3 million computer rooms the US used, the energy equal to the production of 34 large coal-fired power plants within the year 2013.

These numbers would certainly be higher when the whole world is taken for the count. Now, in 2015, other data center factors such as size, dependency, and consumption have also gone to better heights.

How to Ensure a Greener Data Center

For a planet struggling with limited energy resources, it is necessary to make smart moves with such a big and growing concern of energy. This article marks down some of the important practices that can help data center curb the energy eat up.

1. Keep an Eye on the Energy Efficiency

To control your expenses, it is important to understand them. Only then, you can look for the ways to control them. Data centers are usually the smartest piece of technology that most businesses have in action. The sources of energy drain can be counted within the IT load, cooling and lighting facilities, and some similar stuff.

There is hardly any hidden energy usage in here. Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) is taken into account to calculate the efficiency of the data centers. PUE is the ratio of total facility power (TFP) and IT equipment power (ITEP).

PUE = TFP/ITEP

For perfect efficiency, this number shall be 1. With the present conditions, Google’s data centers are the most efficient data centers with 1.21 PUE [2].

2. Eco-friendly Hardware and Devices

It can be considered as one of the best way to achieve better PUE ratings. Almost every energy consuming device that may be required in the data center is available with Energy Star ratings. Try to ensure that your data center is adopting for the devices that keep the energy consumption in check. Installing the cooling and lighting devices with better rating can lower your electricity bills and with the IT resources, you can go even further by using them on power-saving mode.

3. Multiple Zones of Power

From the uptime requests to the significance of data, there are various factors that can change the power requirements from the data centers. Based on these factors, data centers are categorized in four zones from Tier I to Tier IV, where Tier IV requires maximum power. Serving the zones with UPS and other power needs on their merits can bring out noticeable improvements in energy consumption.

4. Move to the Cloud and Virtualization

One can argue that cloud solutions themselves depend on the data centers then what eco-friendly difference does it make with someone else’s data center. The reason is pretty simple. There are many ways in which cloud computing helps the Green IT. Several studies have shown that data centers managed by small businesses are not able to follow the right methods for data storage and processing.

On the other hand, cloud service providers have better command on the data center practices. They are always under the scanner of various environmental agencies, which keep them maintain a greener approach. Additionally, the heating factor is eliminated with the help of virtualization.

Resources:

  1. America’s Data Centers Are Wasting Huge Amounts of Energy – NRDC
  2. Power Usage Effectiveness | Notably Efficient Companies – Wikipedia

About Julie Watson

Julie is a dynamic professional with over 16 years of rich experience as a VDI and Application Hosting expert. At Ace Cloud Hosting, she humanizes disruptive and emerging remote working trends to help leaders discover new and better possibilities for digital transformation and innovation by using cloud solutions with an enterprise-class security approach. Beyond work, Julie is a passionate surfer.
On the weekend, you will find her hanging out with her family or surfing around the North Shore of Oahu.

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Comments (1)

  • Louis Philip says:

    The biggest challenge for environment lovers is that most CIOs are even concerned about the consumption in the data centers.

  • Martin Cage says:

    Efficiency check is vital. Business with better PUE ratings can use that for marketing. Many of them are already using it. Showing care for the ecosystem creates immense positive impact in the market.

  • Frank Klein says:

    The mentioned efficiency calculation is in simpler version. There are some complex formulas involved to find the accurate readings.

  • Norman Ladabouche says:

    I tried to find an app to measure PUE….but could not. I don’t think there is anything else we do not have an app for.

    • Aditi Tyagi says:

      Actually, there are some online tools that can do these calculations. Maybe installable smartphone apps are still under progress.

  • Gary Eckstein says:

    Is PUE similar to DCIE?

    • Aditi Tyagi says:

      Not exactly. PUE is a simple ratio and DCiE is expressed in percentage. However, if you find one then other can be determined. DCiE = (Reciprocal of PUE) x 100

  • Brady Vercher says:

    Google and Microsoft are among toppers. It is good the guys with bigger footprints are being most environment-friendly.

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