Data center energy efficient upgrades

Secure I.T. Environments experienced project team can undertake and manage the entire process and will make the upgrade of your data center smooth and stress free. Our expertise in data centers and other complex technical environments very often allows us to carry out energy efficient upgrade projects within a live operational setting.

We are able carry out an audit of your existing data center infrastructure, advise you on its current condition, provide an audit report to explain the current condition of the facility, its electricity, power phase balancing and loading, air cooling efficiency and cooling utilisation, redundancy and risk awareness.

Whilst providing you with recommendations to meet energy efficiency improvements and resilience levels we believe the key to the success of any upgrade projects that these fundamental elements often determine the correct approach to the final data centre energy efficient solution.

How can you increase the energy efficiency of a data center?

Strategic data center energy management can bring energy efficiency up and power costs down, and it’s not all that difficult a process. below are approaches to help you make your organisation’s data center more energy efficient.

Applying these simple steps below can ensure high data center energy efficiency returns for an IT organisation:

Rationalize, consolidate and virtualise. 

If your data centre is running at less than 50% server workload utilisation, then a large proportion of your energy consumed is being wasted. Average server workload utilisation rates among enterprises are 15% or less. This means the remaining 85% of an companies server’s potential energy consumption is wasted. But, at the same time, the servers storage uses a lot more than 15% of the energy and therefore releases more than 15% of heat. Driving up overall usage rates will improve energy performance metrics — not just at the server itself, but all across the data center as well. Because of the thermal and transmission losses involved, for every watt of energy saved, up to 4 watts can be saved at the point of generation.

Review the data centre operating temperature: 

If the existing operating temperature of your computer room air conditioning (CRAC) unit is in the low 20 degrees Celsius/70 degrees Fahrenheit range, then you are likely running your data centre cooling systems too cool. Try moving the CRAC set point upwards towards 24 degrees C/75 degrees F — or even higher if the majority of your servers or IT equipment is relatively new. Each increased degree in temperature requires less cooling, so less energy is needed providing better power usage effectiveness.

Use air cooling effectively:

If you are cooling down the whole of the data centre, then there is a massive volume of air that is being cooled for no reason. Use  hot aisle / cold aisle approaches for 19″ cabinets , in-row cooling or other containment strategies to minimize the amount of cool air required and ensure that it is ducted effectively to cool down any hot spots which will provide excellent energy savings

Don’t dismiss water cooling:

Water conducts heat far better than air, so water is much more efficient as a cooling medium. Newer systems, based on negative pressure water systems, have extremely low failure rates and can dramatically lower cooling and, hence improve power consumption.

Evaporative cooling is an emerging technology to cool data centers down. Learn if it is a viable option for your data centre and how to add it to your IT cooling strategies. 

Optimize energy distribution systems:

For every voltage transformation involved in a distribution system, there is much energy loss. Therefore, maintain a “flat” distribution system. The trick is to move substation AC voltages through data centre AC and DC voltages as fast as possible and route from there. Although only small percentages are involved here, saving even 1 percent of a large data centers energy bill can provide much energy improvements.

Consider the size of your data centre.

 If your existing company data centre is large, think about generating your own power directly, particularly if the data centre is close to other businesses or modern housing developments. Excess electricity and heat can be sold into the local community, offsetting the cost of the energy generation. Overall energy efficiency can rise from around 30 percent to 40 percent to 80 percent + through the use of CCHP (community combined heat and power generators) as opposed to centralised fossil fuel industry generators. UK Energy Statistics comes out with an overall energy efficiency of 38.5%.

How big will your data centre grow in the future? 

If you think your data center’s operations energy requirements are likely to increase in the foreseeable future, then self-generation could make sense, even if the data centre is only midsize now. With energy costs so variable, attempting to hedge costs now makes sense. Also, if your company has a lot of excess power to sell, putting this back into the grid can be useful  revenues. However, if you believe that your data centre capacity will remain the same size or shrink — if, for instance, you adopt cloud computing — then self-generation may not make as much financial sense.

Carefully choose a site for a data centre. 

If you have no choice as to the location of your data centre (as is the case in an existing facility), you should keep thinking about ways to save energy cost. If a new-build facility is on the horizon, consider building it close to a more sustainable energy source.However, if the placement of the companies data centre is completely flexible, moving it to a colder climate where you can use free air or free water economizers not only provides a more sustainable system, but lowers energy costs as well – well worth the search.

Use renewable energy sources:

Probably not practical as a direct replacement for operating the entire data centre, but as an incremental source of power, renewable sources should be considered. Wind or solar energy is not predictable enough in most cases to provide core power requirements, but you can use it to deal with savings of high energy costs during peak workloads by using feed-in tariffs. Energy created while the wind blows or when the sun shines is sold into the grid; energy required to deal with peaks is either drawn directly from the wind or solar systems if available, or purchased at spot pricing if the systems cannot supply it.

Don’t forget outsourcing. 

Not only does outsourcing provide cost savings from your organisation’s energy bill, it moves it to someone else’s, and as such may sidestep certain carbon emission taxes. An outsourced environment, however, may be far more efficient than your own. Use of space within a global colocation data centre facility, a managed hosting provider, or even the cloud, data center operators can ease energy demands across your total data centre infrastructure. It can also push up utilisation rates through the use of a highly engineered, multi-tenanted environment.

The data centre’s energy efficiency will remain a focus for most data centre managers. Taking steps to be more energy efficient — and to have a more sustainable data centre — does not necessarily mean massive changes to the facility and the equipment housed within it.

Data centers are more energy efficient than you think.

While Google is the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy, organizations also around the world are taking action on climate change by minimizing the amount of power consumption they need to use for their technology services. Data center operators around the world have worked to make data centers as energy efficient as possible.

Today energy efficient data centers for instance by Google have validated their efforts and those of other leaders in its industry. It found that energy efficiency improvements have kept energy usage almost flat across the world data centers—even though demand in services for cloud computing has skyrocketed.

This shows that while the amount of server computing technology done in data centers has increased the amount of energy consumption by data centers only grew by six percent.

These energy efficiency best practices outpaced anything seen in other major sectors of the economy. As a result, while data centers now power more server applications for more people than ever before, they still consume a vast amount of global power consumption within its facilities worldwide