Data center energy efficiency is the reduction of energy waste in operating a data center. As emerging technologies like big data, Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence (AI), place a high demand on IT resource capacity, data center professionals are tasked with keeping up with this demand while reducing energy consumption by power and space resources to improve efficiency and save money.
How to Increase Data Center Energy Efficiency
- Introduce instrumentation and sensors to meter and monitor the environment. Deploy metered power infrastructure such as intelligent rack PDUs, busway drops and end feeds, remote power panels, floor PDUs, and UPSs and environment sensors such as temperature, humidity, and airflow. Use Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software to collect, store, trend, report on, and set thresholds on measured data.
- Increase temperature set points and follow ASHRAE guidelines for rack inlet temperatures. Modern IT equipment can run safely in warmer environments. With temperature sensors and DCIM software, it’s easy to safely raise temperature to instantly improve efficiency while ensuring that the equipment is safely within ASHRAE thermal guidelines you won’t experience downtime.
- Introduce hot/cold aisle containment. Data center containment is the separation of cold supply air from the hot exhaust air of IT equipment. Containment enables a uniform, stable supply temperature to the intake of IT equipment and warmer, drier return air to cooling infrastructure. Containment has proven to reduce energy consumption, increase cooling capacity, and unlock more power capacity for IT equipment. Consider either hot aisle containment or cold aisle containment.
- Consider data center consolidation and virtualization. Data center consolidation enables you to increase efficiency by migrating workloads to few physical locations or the cloud. With less equipment and sites to power and cool, energy consumption is dramatically reduced.
- Minimize bypass airflow. Bypass airflow is airflow that does not pass through IT equipment before returning to a colling unit. Ways it can be reduced include installing blanking panels, raised floor grommets, and efficiency hoods on CRAC units.
- Bill back customers for the energy they use. Encourage your internal or external customers to follow energy efficiency best practices and drive a culture of awareness and accountability by charging customers for the energy their equipment consumes.
How to Measure Data Center Energy Efficiency
Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) is a metric developed by The Green Grid to measure data center efficiency. PUE is the ratio of the total amount of power used by a data center to the power delivered to IT equipment. A ratio of 1.0 would indicate a perfectly efficient data center in which all of the power coming into the facility is delivered to the IT equipment with none of the power used to cool or light the room and none lost in transmission to the IT equipment. Most data centers target a PUE of less than or equal to 1.5 while green data centers can have a PUE of less than 1.1.
Carbon Usage Effectiveness (PUE) is another metric developed by The Green Grid to measure data center sustainability in terms of carbon emissions. CUE is the ratio of the total CO2 emissions caused by total data center energy consumption to the energy consumption of IT equipment.
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