“Think Green” for Your Data Center
In the recent times, every one everywhere is going green. The term itself has become a trend. People are concerned about the climate change and are paying a keen attention to its “shiver sent down the spine“type of repercussions. Recycling, reducing pollution and supporting renewable energy are now being given order importance. Businesses too, are advertising their green practices and products. Organizations are seeking efficient, energy solutions for their data centers to reduce downtime, and increase output. Take a look at the few practices listed below which will help you extend the life of datacenters while deferring new build-out costs.
See those equipments? Look closely:
As we all know, the equipments of the data center gulp down the majority of the power that is supplied to the data center. You would want to start your green trend here. Change any hardware which looks like it’s on the last term of its life cycle. Now, if you cannot replace them due to lack of resources, ensure that they are properly maintained. Doing so makes a noticeable impact on the overall energy use.
Point to be considered is that, these IT equipments come with thermostatic fan control, ensuring that these fans have a clear path to the machine, will keep the temperature in control and enhance the operation efficiency.
Keeping the intake grills clean and making sure that accessories like cable management arms, in-rack PDUs are not blocking any exhaust ports will ensure optimum operation of the data center.
What’s in the AC Vents?
Data centers need heavy duty cooling equipments to maintain optimum temperature levels. Usually the air flow path is through the air conditioning equipments to the equipments and back to the AC equipment.
Sometimes, airflow might not follow that path. The air from the outlet might return to input which would in turn reduce the cooling efficiency and considerably decrease the AC’s capacity. Recirculation (hot air from the IT equipments might find its way to the AC inlet) is another possibility.
Managing airflow by keeping the hot and the cold air away from each other can aid the cost savings on cooling requirements effectively. Start by blocking any unused space around the racks so that there is not hot air leakage from the back of the rack to the front of it .Organizing the racks in the hot aisle/cold aisle will do the trick.
The unobstructed return of the hot air to the air conditioning equipment is every bit as important as the delivery of cold air. IT equipment rows should be located such that perimeter air conditioning equipment is centered at the end of hot aisles. If there are more hot aisles than air conditioners, placing empty, blanked racks at the end of the row nearest the air conditioner is an effective way to keep the hot air directed properly without affecting operating equipment. In many cases, the air can be further isolated with simple plastic curtains, ensuring that only cold air is supplied to the equipment and equally important, the hot air has a clear path back to the air conditioning equipment.
It’s a data center, not cold storage:
Now we know that the temperature in the data center has to be relatively cold, but it really shouldn’t feel like your blood is freezing over once you step into one. Overcooling is one of the many reasons why the data centers do not perform as efficiently as it should be. Maintain the temperature as per your equipment’s need. All major equipment manufacturers support the temperature range recommended by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) which has an upper limit of 77° F. This temperature range provides a good operation margin and considerable energy savings.
Chart the Data Center’s growth:
Estimating various parameters like when and how you are planning to upgrade the data center will help you gain valuable insights on computing needs. Implementing a CFD model will help you estimate and predict various cooling related issues. Also examining the load on each server can result in accurate estimation of cost and energy savings.
Use Your PUE/DCIE
Power usage effectiveness helps one express the energy efficiency of their data center. Knowing your PUE will enable you to set goals and track efficiency of your data center. Once the value is known, you can modify and upgrade the system for power saving and cost effective solutions.
Bottom line is a well designed, organized data center will ensure that your business runs like a well-oiled machine. It will help you reduce the capital expenditure and delay the need of a complete replacement of the equipments. An effective data center is also environmentally feasible way to manage your operations.
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