Organizations are starting to take a serious look at consumption ratios of compute power to energy and with the shrinking power supply, information technology (IT) managers are on the lookout for innovative data center design best practices. We list handy tips from Gartner experts on data center design
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• Implementing row- and rack-based cooling for higher-density equipment can reduce energy consumption by up to 15%, while making the data center more scalable.
• Rightsizing the new data center by building and provisioning only what is needed — and then expanding only when needed — can reduce the long-term operating expenses by 10 to 30%.
• Using air economizers in certain geographies is a simple step with sizable rewards. Many data centers actually have air handlers with economizer modes on existing equipment, which are disabled from the early years when energy was not an issue.
• Paying particular attention to floor layouts, not only with respect to hot aisle/cold aisle factors, but with regard to overall air movement (distance) to reduce workloads on your air handling equipment.
• Virtualize as much as possible - especially on x86 equipment. The average x86 server has very low utilization levels but requires a high degree of maximum power to run. Push these systems to higher utilization levels to reduce overall energy consumption and reduce floor space.
Energy consumption will be the most dominant trend in data centers during the next five years - both from efficiency and monitoring/management standpoints. Reduction in energy consumption will take on many forms, from introducing ‘green’ technologies, such as chilled water or refrigerant cooling at the device level, to real-time infrastructure management, which allows the movement of resources based on workloads and time of day. With potential regulatory involvement in data center efficiencies, IT and facilities managers will be required to show continuous improvements in utilizing resources and constantly innovate on data center design best practices.
This was first published in November 2010