IT Infrastructure: Data Center Efficiency: 10 Tips to Boost Productivity, Reduce Power Usage
Data centers are designed for reliability, usually at the expense of efficiency. The failure to design for efficiency increases capital and operational expenditures. It can also result in finite resources being exhausted, thereby creating a situation in which relentless growth threatens to outpace the enterprise's ability to financially sustain that growth. Quantifying the power efficiencies of a data center may appear to be something pretty esoteric, but rest assured, it is all very scientific. Two metrics instituted by the Green Grid industry group are now beginning the lengthy process of becoming international industry standards. First, there is power usage effectiveness (PUE). This is a ratio of total facility power divided by IT equipment power. Ideally, it should be less than 2-to-1. The closer to 1-to-1 this metric is, the better. Then, there is data center infrastructure efficiency (DCiE), which is a percentage calculated by multiplying IT equipment power by 100, divided by total facility power. The bigger this percentage is, the better. A data center's DCiE should never be more than 1. With this in mind, here are 10 steps IT and facility managers can take to improve efficiency without compromising reliability. Our expert resource for this slide show is Clemens Pfeiffer, CTO of Power Assure and a 25-year veteran of the software industry.
Reduce Cooling Power Consumption
In a typical data center, only about half the power available is actually used by the IT equipment, with the rest going mostly to cooling. Much of that power can be reclaimed by eliminating cooling inefficiencies, upgrading the cooling system to allow for variable cooling or making greater use of outside air. Additional efficiency can be achieved by right-sizing the UPS and power-distribution equipment.