EPA Targets the Yeoman
Server First for Energy Star"> Yet overall power consumption continues to rise, due largely to the sheer number of servers being put into production, as well as some products with smaller form factors that run hotter. Fanara said industry estimates indicate that servers and supporting infrastructure represented 1.2 percent of all electricity used in the U.S., a figure which has doubled from 2000-2005. "And we expect this to double again by 2011," Fanara said.As data centers expand by physical and virtual means in response to greater demand for Internet-based businesses and entertainment, the energy used by them also is increasing, Fanara said."All data center managers can expect this trend to impact the cost, supply, and reliability of energy delivered to their facilities and must plan accordingly," Fanara said. "Some 82.5 percent of all AFCOM members have experienced a power outage in the last five years aloneand this number is fast increasing. On the power side, there are five emerging trends coming into the data center, conference speaker Peter Panfil, vice president of power engineering at Liebert in Columbus, Ohio, told eWEEK. "The first one is energy efficiency, which is a welcome one, and second is the need for flexibility in terms of power configuration or distribution," Panfil told eWEEK. "Third is the need for monitoring, which is increasing all the way to the branch level. Data centers are even using monitoring to improve their availability. "It used to be that monitoring was an I need help kind of notification. Now, its really a cooperative thing between the folks who are monitoring and the folks who are taking action." Alternative power configurations that can push up an overall utilization rate are another trend, Panfil said. "One of the keys to this energy efficiency story is getting your utilization rate up," Panfil said. "If you can get the most out of what youve got, youre in better shape than in ripping out what youve got and starting with something new." Enterprises can move from a simple data center (five or fewer servers) to a concurrently maintainable data center to a redundant component center to a fault-tolerant one, and retain original investment, Panfil said. "Thats really what folks are after. They dont want to throw away what theyve already got," Panfil said. "They want to be able to take what theyve already got, be able to reconfigure it by adding capacity or reconfiguring it in such a way that they can take advantage of these new higher-availability systems." AFCOM is an association for data center professionals, which offers services to help support the management of data centers around the world. Established in 1980, AFCOM currently has more than 3,600 members and 26 chapters worldwide. Data Center World continues through Sept. 19 at the immense Gaylord Texan resort here on the shores of Lake Grapevine. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on enterprise and small business storage hardware and software.