Managing a data center efficiently is a tough task. After taking the green plunge too, it is necessary that one measures the efficiency of those buildings. This is because, to be completely efficient one needs to know at what rate does the data center use up the resources provided, what type of byproducts it is generating and most importantly how green it actually is.
Why fix something that is not broken?
People might take all that poking and prodding to find out the efficiency rate to be an exhaustive process. But data center managers should remember that measuring certain parameters will help them understand their data center better. Based on these measurements, the managers can opt of upgrades and appropriate resources for the data center. It also helps them assess the success and growth rate accurately. It is shocking to find out that despite of its very important nature, many enterprises completely avoid the process. Surveys of more than 1,500 Data Center owners and operators at Datacenter Dynamics conferences in 2008 indicate that fewer than one in three were using Data Center efficiency metric and fewer than half definitely intended to use them in the future.
But what should we Measure?
Now that the importance of measuring the efficiency has bee established, one needs to measure the right parameters so that those can aid in quantifying the impact of the various upgrades which are incorporated to make the data center green. Let us look at those pointers and try to understand why measuring them is important:
The data center runs on power and that’s what makes it the most important resources which needs measuring. Doing so will answer all queries and will help one figure out the accurate rate of consumption of energy by the IT equipments, the lighting systems and the Cooling center.
It is pertinent to remember that power consumption is the most expensive operational cost of the data center. If one measures the exact usage rate of this resource, then they will be able to save energy and capital by making necessary improvements.
Here, it means the carbon footprint. As we all know, carbon traps heat and if this is left unchecked, then it can hamper the temperature balance of the data centers. Carbon emission is largely man-made. This factor needs to be checked out because it has a domino effect on the working of a data center. Think about it, increase in temperature means the cooling units would work harder to maintain the temperature of the data center by consuming more power thereby decreasing the overall efficiency.
The generators in the battery room which start up in case of a power failure emit a ton of pollutants including gases like nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide. Measuring and keeping a tab on the power consumption of the generators give a clear picture about the data center’s health report.
Hot air emission:
Hot air comes with the territory but a clear pathway is absolutely essential to make sure that it is disposed properly. This is crucial as this hot air if left unattended would be re-circulated in the data center thereby increasing the temperature. Measuring the efficiency rate of the cooling units will let one gain insights how effectively is the hot air disposed and also will help them make a better decision in case an upgrade is required.
Needless to say, cooling tower requires gallons of water on a monthly basis and the water used also needs to be replaces. This measurement has not been seriously considered, but it plays a pivotal role towards determining how green the data center is. Removing gallons of water from the local supplies has a huge impact on the environment on the whole and should not be ignored.
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