Rising data center energy consumption and increasing energy costs have combined to increase the importance of evaluating data center energy consumption as a strategy to reduce costs, manage capacity, and promote environmental responsibility.  The first step in prioritizing energy saving opportunities is to assess current data center energy consumption.  Here are 4 additional easily addressed tips to help reduce energy costs: 

 1. Virtualization 

Over 75% of businesses today utilize server virtualization, and for several good reasons.  Reducing your hardware footprint is a great way to save on power consumption.  With the incorporation of Hypervisor High-Availability, it no longer makes sense to have duplicate hardware instances for every single system. 

Also, just because you have hundreds of VMs doesn’t necessarily mean you need them powered on constantly.  VMware offers a feature called DPM (Distributed Power Management).  This allows administrators to set a schedule to turn specific servers off to reduce their security exposure and power costs. 

2. Workflow Consolidation 

Deep dives into a business’s workflows can reveal some glaring inefficiencies.  Many businesses reduce the number of servers they have when the realize how many applications play well with each other within a single operating system.  

3. Airflow Considerations 

All too often, the blaring sound of power supply fans fills a data center due to poor cable management.  If network and power cables are not pulled to the sides of a server rack, they can cause a waterfall of blockage, and the heat can’t escape. 

Similarly, when server racks are parallel to each other, their orientation is critical for airflow.  The back of one rack should never face the front of another rack.  Otherwise, the fronts of the servers will just be breathing the hot exhaust from the other rack, unnecessarily heating things up. 

4. Refreshing Infrastructure 

Every year, server manufacturers are implementing more efficient technology into their products.  CPU speed throttling, variable speed fans, and improved voltage regulation are just some of the underrated benefits of refreshing hardware.  Windows 2008 R2 and newer Microsoft operating systems can alter the power states of the processors in response to utilization. 

In summary: 

Individually, each cost-savings criteria may not seem very beneficial.  Yet, according to the Uptime Institute, reducing a single 1U system in your rack can save you $500 in energy, $500 in OS licensing, and $1,500 in hardware maintenance costs every year.  Infrastructure efficiency is certainly a worth-while consideration. 

A final consideration, of course, is moving to the cloud which fully alleviates a need for space or energy costs for your own data center.  If you need help assessing your environment to determine further ways to reduce costs, reach out to us at info@peters.com.  We are happy to help!