Medium Effort Initiatives
Medium effort initiatives
This second set of improvements to your facility requires more effort, more disruption and some modest capital investments, but they still yield sub-one year ROIs. These include the following four improvements:
1. Server virtualization: Make more efficient use of fewer machines
2. Storage consolidation: Much like server virtualization, this technique uses a single storage array to support multiple customers or business functions
3. Storage optimization: Install software that allows low-priority storage units (Tier 3 and backup units) to spin down when unused
4. Monitor your storage systems for signs of end-of-life (EOL). As they age, disks start to suffer from excessive seek operations, increased spindle drag and other degradations that increase power consumption and reduce reliability. Most experts suggest that a three-year cycle for rotating media will cut your storage array's energy bill by 10 percent.
Finally, it's time to consider equipment replacement. Swapping several old power hogs for a single, new virtualized server or consolidated storage unit should be a part of your normal capital management cycle to spread expenditures and minimize disruptions. Just remember: while upgrading to more energy-efficient units and applying virtualization techniques will cut your overall energy consumption, it will not reduce your PUE and perhaps will even raise it.
Each time you perform a second-tier improvement, remember to re-audit your system. By this time, you should start to see some significant shifts-both in how much energy your data center is using and where it's being used. These new patterns will help you identify the next most cost-effective target of opportunity.
If your facility is similar to most of the corporate data centers operating today, it's likely that using even a significant fraction of these measures will allow you to cut your base-line energy consumption by 40 percent.