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Where to get started when trying to make the data center more energy efficient

By Donna Donnowitz
March 2, 2015

It's no news that data centers are a massive energy sink, but that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt to take another look at the numbers. The National Resource Defense Council reported that over 90 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity were consumed by America's data centers in 2013 alone. The same research predicted that this annual consumption will exceed over 140 billion kilowatt-hours by 2020. There are several approaches that IT teams can take in order to make their facilities more energy efficient, and the success of those plans is largely based on how much detail went into the planning stage. Use the following resources to decide where your IT staff should start when designing their own efficiency upgrades.

Learn how your data center uses electricity
It's near impossible to design a comprehensive, effective strategy for reducing electricity use in the data center if your IT team doesn't even know how said energy is being consumed. That's why data center energy monitoring is so essential to making the facility more sustainable. Climate management controls do more than report the temperature of different parts of the data center. The right gear can also communicate detailed data center performance summaries based on detected cooling anomalies and air flow issues. You may also need access to a handy serial-to-Ethernet solution to get your monitoring equipment connected directly to your data center.

Research IT solutions
Energy Star pointed out that there are plenty of technology-aided strategies that IT teams can utilize in an effort to lower energy consumption. The process of server virtualization, for instance, allows your IT teams to deactivate and decommission unused physical servers. This strategy is even more effective when virtualization happens on the cloud. Energy Star also recommended that IT teams take the time to investigate and purchase more efficient servers and PDUs as replacement components.

Adjust airflow accordingly
Along with IT oriented solutions, structural and organizational changes can be made in order to improve a data facility's operating efficiency. Adjustments to rack layout to manage hot and cold flow is a well-known strategy, but one that performs even better when combined with energy-monitoring tools and other efforts to make data centers more green. The same data can be used to calibrate fan speeds and refine airflow management in the data center as well.

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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