5 Data Center Tips For Going Green

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Server conceptAs any IT department knows, keeping your facility in check and at optimum efficiency is a constant struggle. Even more so when pressured by outside influences such as regulators and competitors. By going green with your data center, you will not only be saving yourself tons of money, but also make yourself more desirable for business and increase your overall image. Here are five tips that every IT department should jump on.

Get Rid of the CRACs

CRACs (Computer Room Air Conditioners) take up a lot of power and can be very costly in the long term. While they may adequately keep server systems cool, they produce an excess amount of chilled air that doesn’t get used at all. Some counter this with hot and cold aisle containment to decrease the volume, however there is still a measurable amount of excess chilled air.

This can be eliminated by server rack cooling, such as in-rack and in-row cooling systems. Also known as cold-coupled cooling, the cooling ties directly into the IT equipment, rather than sending it into empty space, using much smaller fans. This method minimizes energy consumption while maximizing cooling, while still fitting comfortably in ASHRAE guideline parameters. The best part is if one should fail, only that rack or row is affected, rather than the entire data center.

Airflow, Airflow, Airflow

Maximum airflow is important, and you can do this fairly easily by making sure there are no holes or gaps between servers and systems. Any unused rack space or spaces in between should be blocked off and sealed. Even the smallest of open entries allow precious chilled air to escape into empty space. By blanking panels and racks, you will be saving yourself a lot of energy over the long term, which also means a lots of money.

UPS Systems Are Golden

Rather than having some bulky, power hungry back up system, you can just use a standard UPS System. They are small and don’t take up a lot of space, leaving more space for personnel and servers. They also store energy in batteries and supercapacitors, rather than drawing from the electrical grid directly. They only last a few minutes, however that is plenty of time to properly shut down equipment and systems, preventing damage to servers or even personnel in extreme cases.

Monitor Your PUE

It is very important that you know your data center’s efficiency performance. By measuring energy consumption frequently, you will be able to stay on top of your facilities overall power usage and, subsequently, cost. Simply divide your facility’s total power draw by the amount of power used solely by the data center’s IT equipment. While this is a relatively straight forward step, it is key to keeping your facility green and efficient.

Consider Hydroelectric Power

Facilities that burn coal to produce electricity are possibly the furthest from green that you can get. Your data center’s carbon footprint will be largely noticeable to any regulators who monitor green efficiency. A cleaner solution to this is hydroelectric power. Whether you power it directly or through a utility provider, this is an absolute must for achieving an optimum green and efficient facility for business.

About the Author

+Katrina is a product specialist with the leading server rack engineering and accessories company at Racksolutions.com.

Photo credit: Freeimages.com / Joseph B

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