Taking Stock and Deciding
Taking stock and deciding
With the easy tasks out of the way, it's time to take stock and decide if you need to implement any high-effort measures-the sorts of things large Internet companies such as Google spend millions on R&D to design in from the start. The running energy benchmarks you've kept during the first two phases will be a big help in figuring which, if any, of the more costly upgrades (such as containerization, flywheel uninterruptible power supplies (UPSes) or high-voltage power distribution) are worth considering.
Cutting your data center's energy consumption by 35 to 40 percent is practical, cost-effective and will make you a hero in the eyes of your management. Just remember the following four points:
1. Establishing a base-line breakdown of your data center's energy consumption and repeated benchmarking of any improvements you make are critical to achieving best results.
2. PUE is a very good tool for understanding your data center's energy profile-but it can be misleading unless you understand what it actually measures.
3. Don't believe vendors' marketing hype; analyze their claimed benefits within the context of your own data center's needs and "personality."
4. High-effort strategies are very effective, but they're usually most useful during scheduled forklift retrofits or new construction. But even without these, most data centers can achieve remarkable energy savings.
Joe Polastre is co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Sentilla. Joe is responsible for defining and implementing the company's global technology and product strategy. Winner of the 2009 Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal 40 Under 40 award and named one of BusinessWeek's Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs, Joe often speaks about energy management and the role of physical computing, where information from the physical world is used to make energy efficiency decisions. Before joining Sentilla, Joe held software development and product manager positions with IBM, Microsoft and Intel. Joe is active in numerous organizations including The Green Grid, US Green Building Council, ACM and IEEE. Joe holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from University of California, Berkeley, and a B.S. in Computer Science from Cornell University. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.