3 Strategies for Data Center Energy Savings
HOW EFFICIENT COOLING AND SMART MANAGEMENT CAN LOWER YOUR ENERGY SPEND
The ever-growing demands on data centers require operators to extract he maximum value from every inch
without spending more than necessary.
Simply increasing the footprint won’t cut it.
Lower the cost of data center management
with these three optimization opportunities.
1) Tap into Renewable
A recent survey by AFCOM, an educational and networking organization for
data center and IT professionals, found
that nearly half of respondents have either
deployed a renewable energy source or are
planning to do so within a year. Of those,
60% said the new energy sources will help
their organization achieve its green goals
and help lower ROI or total cost of ownership of the data center.
This indicates that adding renewable
energy to the data center power mix isn’t
just good practice – in many cases, it’s an
economical decision. About 83% of the
survey’s renewable power users opted for
solar technology, with hydroelectric power
and wind each attracting about 63% of
users and 48% choosing geothermal.
n Immersion cooling: Servers are filled with
dielectric fluid or placed in tanks of it.
This technique is extremely effective at
keeping servers at safe temperatures, but
can raise concerns with space utilization,
maintaining the servers and the inherent
risks of having large quantities of oil-based coolant on-site. Liquid contact systems provide an alternative by skipping
complete immersion in favor of a liquid
that flows through the server and absorbs
heat from the server’s internal heat sink.
3) Get Smart About
Better data center management means
that data center facilities managers must
grow with the times.
Google is taking big steps to improve
energy efficiency in its 15 data centers
worldwide, including smart management
strategies that allow equipment to perform
at its peak. Constant measurement of the
energy consumption of all non-computing
functions allows Google techs to identify
areas for improvement and spot underper-forming equipment before anything fails.
Airflow management is another top
priority for Google. It minimizes hot and
cold air mixing with effective containment
strategies and uses thermal modeling and
computational fluid dynamics to optimize
airflow in each data center.
2) Deploy Better Cooling
GOOGLE’S DATA CENTERS, like this one in Eemshaven, Netherlands, are constantly monitored and metered to spot spikes in energy
Ongoing power costs are increasing at
least 10% per year because of an increase
in the cost per kilowatt-hour, according to
IT research firm Gartner. In response, data
centers are adopting liquid-based cooling
because liquids transfer heat much more
efficiently than air-based cooling.
Liquid-based data center cooling sys-
tems can take several forms, including
these three popular choices:
n Warm-water, cold-plate technology:
This flexible technology is relatively easy
to retrofit into existing data centers.
The plates move liquid under devices,
absorbing heat and carrying it away.
Using warm water eliminates the need
for a chiller to create cold water.
n Water-side economizers: Like its air-side
cousins, water-side economizers use
ambient external conditions to offset at
least some of the cooling inside a build-
ing. However, rather than bringing in
outside air, water-side economizers use
water loops and a liquid-to-liquid heat
exchanger that can supplement (and
sometimes replace) the need for a
consumption and identify opportunities for improvement.