Seven recommendations for a green data center

By Peter Melerud  |  Posted 2008-11-18 Print this article Print

Seven recommendations for a green data center

The EPA has made recommendations for a green data center, which include setting metrics and tools for measuring energy performance, increased awareness of best practices within the data center and coordination among public, private and utility companies. Seven steps to having a greener data center to support Web and application infrastructure include:

Step #1: Know your current energy use in order to know the starting point.

Step #2: Review metrics regularly to track progress, and make adjustments as needed.

Step #3: Rather than purchasing too many servers, optimize the use of servers.

Step #4: Remember that performance goes hand-in-hand with power efficiency.

Step #5: Install network equipment that streamlines the management and efficiency of Web and application infrastructure.

Step #6: Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) acceleration/download helps servers operate more efficiently, which means the data center uses less power.

Step #7: Deploy low-energy consumption network devices, which lower energy bills and reduce cooling requirements.

Determining and monitoring energy usage

Data centers are notorious for their power consumption. Each piece of equipment, including servers, uses energy along with air conditioning-which, for every watt used by the servers, the climate control system uses two watts. With a large data center, power consumption quickly adds up.

So, the first step toward having a green data center is determining energy usage and monitoring for peak usage and low-energy demand cycles. Normal power consumption in a data center includes powering the servers, plus additional "wasted" power that is usually dissipated as heat and/or light. Low power consumption helps to cut out the wasted, unused power.

In general, data center employees beyond the facilities manager generally have not been concerned with energy costs, but this needs to be changed. As part of the plan to reduce consumption, SMBs must track before-and-after measurements and budget/performance change. SMBs must implement a monitoring device before reducing power consumption in the data center. This way, they can more effectively track the results of how much of their budget is being saved. This data then needs to be shared with appropriate staff, reviewed regularly and revised as needed. 

Peter Melerud is VP of Product Management at KEMP Technologies. Peter has over 20 years experience in designing, building and managing datacenters for large corporations, financial institutions, as well as small and medium-sized businesses. His broad technology expertise covers datacenter server and network communications infrastructure, enterprise business intelligence, data management, content security and compliance technologies. At KEMP Technologies, Peter is responsible for product management and business development of application delivery and load-balancing solutions for the small and medium enterprise (SME) infrastructure market. He can be reached at

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