How to Reduce Power Consumption in Data Center Operations

data center operatorFor most businesses, the simplest methods for eliminating a problem often go unnoticed. With emerging technologies taxing IT infrastructures and deployment, older technologies are often not taken into account when pursuing a solution. Power consumption can fall into this category as a simple, yet overlooked area of improvement.

The fact is, “energy conservation” has become an industry phrase and there are some very simple, easy-to-implement strategies that can result in instant savings for any business. None of these methods relies on any new technology introductions. Here are five simple strategies for reducing power consumption in the data center operator.

1. Hot Aisle/Cold Aisle If your computer equipment in the data center is not properly configured in a hot aisle/cold aisle layout, it should be. This arrangement of the machinery promotes proper flow of hot and cold air resulting in less work required by the HVAC cooling system and the computer equipment. In virtually all layouts, server racks are set up facing each other in pairs, with the back of one server facing the back of another server in the next pair of server racks in the data center.

2. Proper temperature and humidity Setting the correct temperature and humidity levels in the data center is essential to proper airflow in the room. Too often there is a misconception that server rooms should be cold and little monitoring is done to maintain optimum temperature and humidity levels. Many times the only sensor device in the room is the one located on the thermostat. Server rooms should be kept cold, but do not need to be cooler than average room temperature throughout the site.

3. Proper floor tiles The cold aisle should contain perforated pipes or grates to promote the flow of cooler air from the floor up to the server air intake. Placing these perforations, thus raising the level within the cold aisle, takes advantage of the inherent properties of cooler air that will reduce the work required by the HVAC system and computer cooling mechanisms.

4. Bypass air Bypass air is any conditioned air in the data center operator that is not used by the computer equipment air intakes. This results in airflow inefficiencies within the layout of the data center. Cooler air is promoted to rise from the floor through the use of perforated floor tiles or grates in the cold aisle. Air should be prevented from rising from the floor for any other purpose.

5. Blanking panels Finally, within the hot aisle/cold aisle configuration, blanking panels should be placed in server racks where there is no machinery.aThese panels simply cover up the holes at the front of the racks to block the mixing of hot and cold air. This simple fix maximizes the energy-saving potential of your hot aisle/cold aisle data center layout.

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