- Lowering energy costs is possible with products such as high performance servers and liquid cooling.
- Software is available for measuring energy efficiency and power usage effectiveness.
- The U.S. Department of Energy offers a number of free resources to help data centers save energy.
There are a lot of products and resources out there to assist data centers in saving energy and money. To help you process it all, we've selected a few of our favorites.
1. Put everything in a box
Tired of the time it takes to integrate and configure all those components? Schneider Electric's micro data center solution includes a single enclosure, uninterruptible power supply (UPS), power distribution, management software, environmental monitoring, cooling and security — all tested, assembled and packaged together. Similarly, Nimboxx integrates servers, storage and networking into a single appliance with one management interface. It takes less than 10 minutes to set up.
2. Manage software energy use
Want to know how much energy your software is using? A European Union-based research project called ENTRA has developed a tool to do just that. Through code analysis and energy modeling, programmers can see what impact their design decisions will have on energy consumption. The tool shows energy use in terms of watts or in absolute energy requirements (the energy needed to finish the task). Preliminary tests on real-time audio processing, robot motor control and real-time networking showed energy savings of 20 to 50 percent, as a result of compacting programs and optimizing timing of operations to reduce processor speeds.
3. Reduce your emissions
Worried about your carbon footprint? Check out high-performance computing systems like the HP Apollo 8000. It can accommodate up to 144 servers per rack and has four times the teraflops per rack compared to air-cooled designs. The energy-efficient design helps organizations eliminate up to 3,800 tons of carbon dioxide waste from their data center per year.
4. Track the numbers
Want to help upper management understand how much power it takes to run an application? Install TSO Logic's Data Center Efficiency Console, the first commercially available energy metrics dashboard. It measures cost per transaction, power usage by source, average utilization levels, revenue per server, cost per user and transactions per kilowatt-hour. The console is compatible with the company's management software, as well as those from other vendors.
5. Calculate energy efficiency
Would you like to measure server energy efficiency at almost no cost? Power Assure's patented PAR4 Measurement Tool is available for download and use entirely free of charge. All you need is a plug-in power meter, which typically costs less than $20. PAR4 measurements also can be used to maximize the amount of equipment placed into each rack without risk of overloading circuits. Another free tool for estimating power usage effectiveness (PUE) is available from the Green Grid. Just enter data on the estimated power use of system components to calculate PUE, facility load, IT load and data center efficiency.
6. Save on cooling
Do you want to take advantage of liquid cooling? Traditional data centers can now implement this novel approach with Asetek's system designed for the rack/server level. The system captures 60 to 80 percent of server heat, potentially reducing data center cooling costs by more than 50 percent. Heat is removed within servers using hot water (up to 105°F), reducing the amount of air requiring cooling and moving. Waste heat can be recovered and recycled, potentially increasing server density.
The U.S. Department of Energy offers a number of free resources for data centers, including an air management tool and a cooling calculator.
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