Have you heard? According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, data center energy consumption will increase to roughly 140 billion kilowatt hours per year by 2020 – costing U.S. businesses $13 billion in annual electricity bills (not to mention the impacts of the nearly 100 million metric tons of greenhouse-gas emissions being generated).
Green data centers use less energy than their counterparts, and eliminate wasteful processes. Less money spent on energy bills means more money that stays within your organization. But with concerns about uptime, security and fire suppression, it’s easy to see why green data center operations aren’t always top of mind.
Here are some green data center improvements that will offer improved energy efficiency right away.
There are several changes you can make to servers to reduce energy use (and free up floor space), according to ENERGY STAR:
With an environmental monitoring system, you can continuously manage data center temperatures and humidity levels – both of which impact energy use. Energy and water waste can occur when data centers are being simultaneously humidified and dehumidified, or when cooling systems are running without rejection of the heat created by the IT load. Environmental monitoring systems can warn you about all of this via phone, text or email. This allows you to make adjustments right away to maintain energy efficiency; it also helps identify potential data center performance problems. An increase in temperature, for example, may mean that a CRAC system isn’t functioning correctly.
In 2008, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) established new temperature and humidity ranges at the inlet of a server. Did your data center make changes accordingly? The recommended range is now 65 degrees F to 80 degrees F; for every unnecessary 1 degree F difference below 65 degrees F, you spend 4% to 5% more on energy costs.
Deciding to go green in your data center makes obvious financial sense – but the decision is often fueled by other reasons as well.
For example, if you’re a multi-tenant data center (MTDC), then it’s likely that your clients will ask whether you follow green practices. More and more organizations now have environmental policies in place that may dictate purchasing or vendor decisions. Your emphasis on green data center operations may be the deciding factor in an MTDC environment.
To learn more about improving data center efficiency, schedule a call with one of our experts!
Mike Peterson joined Belden from 2014 to 2016. As the technology and applications manager, Mike monitored major industry technology activities and kept tabs on up-and-coming data center trends. He was also instrumental in developing relationships with industry standards organizations and trade alliances.