Improving power management in data centers has a positive impact on cost

Power management is key to a cost-effective and sustainable data center architecture. 

By Donna Donnowitz
May 11, 2015
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IT managers know that lowering electricity consumption is good for the environment and for the company's bottom line, but the solution to this problem is often more difficult than it might appear on paper. After all, understanding how your data center can be adjusted to consume less energy requires IT teams to have a solid handle on how and where this electricity is being used.

"You'll need have a handle on consumption before you can improve your infrastructure."

Research performed by the Rocky Mountain Institute showed that over half of the data center sector's energy costs go toward space cooling, while server equipment and inefficient electrical systems contribute to the rest of a data facility's total consumption. You'll have to get a clear picture of how this consumption plays out as your facility looks for ways to fundamentally improve how your infrastructure is organized.

Reorganize workloads and infrastructure to eliminate redundancies
One power management practice that IT teams have deployed with success is the streamlining of certain pieces of infrastructure around performing a single, repeated task. For instance, Facebook sorts its archives of endless user images into specialized storage organizations that are dedicated to making sure that routinely accessed images are can be retrieved as quickly as possible, said Data Center Knowledge. Likewise, you can dedicate less time and resources toward solving cooling efficiency problems.

There are several ways that waste can be reduced via adjustment to the company's infrastructure. Start by investing in devices that measure energy consumption - this type of hardware can be integrated into existing infrastructure with ease via a serial to Ethernet connector. This gear will provide you with a clear picture of where the efficient transfer of power in your data center is breaking down and how to make cost-effective adjustments.

Researchers are perfecting burst-power solutions
In the near future, IT managers will be able to take advantage of far more efficient data center gear thanks to recent breakthroughs in the design of the serial links that connect microprocessors to other devices. Unfortunately, these components are idle for up to 70 percent of the time that they spend consuming power, noted TechRepublic.

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois is currently refining a means for serial links to communicate information via burst-mode activation. This functionality would allow components working inside data centers to minimize their power consumption and cut down on the energy burden of the sector as a whole. IT teams will have to plan for innovation in their budgets if they want to utilize the latest energy-saving strategies as they make their debut.

Combine power management strategies to cut costs even further
Utilizing any one power management strategy can help you and your IT experts to run the datacenter more efficiently and cost effectively. Combining multiple power management strategies may come with a more complicated set of logistics, but integrating multiple technologies at once makes more sense in the long run than taking a piecemeal approach to infrastructure upgrades.

Power management helps reduce the burden on your IT staff.Power management helps reduce the burden on your IT staff.

FedTech Magazine listed multiple power management strategies that you and your IT team can deploy in tandem. Resizing equipment to better meet the performance needs of your data center, for instance, is a strategy that pairs perfectly with integrating power management software that provides the analysis needed to organize infrastructure in a way that reduces energy waste. Taking the time to analyze and deploy power management solutions may appear to be a daunting task at first, but the widespread and long-term benefits of these upgrades make sense.

Perle's serial to Ethernet converters connect serial based equipment across an Ethernet network. The Perle IOLAN range of Console Servers, Device Servers and Terminal Servers feature built-in support for IPv6 along with a broad range of authentication methods and encryption technologies.


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