Creating An Eco-friendly Datacenter

In a world that is turning “green” everywhere you look, what other areas could possibly come more eco-friendly? One place to look is your business. The ability to turn your datacenter green is a very possible and practical step. But first, for those who do not know, let’s define what a datacenter is. A data center is the location owned by a websitehost that contains the web servers. So how can you make this location that runs on so much energy into an environmentally friendly place?

Energy experts estimate that datacenters use mean 1.5 percent and 3 percent of the electricity that is generated in the United States. At the high end of the spectrum the whole state of Michigan can be powered for one year. According to Uptime Institute, “more than 60 percent of the power used to cool equipment in the datacenter is completely wasted.” Not only are you helping the environment by making your datacenter more eco-friendly, you may also get benefits through the government.

The website has provided steps that will help you get started in your venture of making your business’s datacenter more environmentally friendly. We will focus on the first 5 in this post and the last 5 in the next.

1. Evaluate your energy efficiency. Add up your energy bills, learn where your energy comes from, and how it’s being distributed in your company. Plan a road map for monitoring and reducing usage. Your initial evaluation can provide a baseline for calculating your ROI after implementing changes.

2. Redesign your cooling system. Enclose your servers in hot aisles so you can concentrate your cooling directly onto the racks. Be sure to reduce airflow loss by sealing off holes in your walls, floors and ceilings, and make sure you have proper air ducts.

3. Reconsider your redundancy. Many companies invest in redundant cooling and heating systems that use double the amount of power they usually need — for each kilowatt of energy needed, redundant circuits use two. This helps prepare systems for growth and times of peak performance, but the result is a maximum power flow where only a fraction of that power is put to use. This practice is inefficient and inflates your energy bills. Cut back your redundancy wherever possible, to operate based on your current needs rather than projecting your future needs.

4. Use adjustable equipment. You can also plan for growth and times of peak power needs by implementing scalable and modular systems. Scalable blade servers can concentrate more computing power in a smaller space, requiring less power to cool. Also any scalable system will let you operate at your minimum power requirements and give you the capacity to grow into higher power consumption when you’re ready.

5. Virtualize your storage. Most servers are underused, because they’re loaded with archaic information or software that’s only needed some of the time. With storage virtualization software or a device, you can make your applications mobile and thereby shutdown unneeded servers. The virtualization device will keep track of your server space and remap applications to different physical locations as necessary to achieve optimal efficiency. Thus, information can be made location independent and redirected across multiple I/O devices from different vendors.