Five Ways to Find Data Center Energy Savings

Energy savings are there to be found in most data centers. Here are five places to look for them.

1 2 Page 2
Page 2 of 2

3. Place equipment in the right spot.

Most data center floors are raised and tiled. Tiles should be located near the air inlets of IT equipment, not near the exhaust. Since the exhaust areas (where the air is coming out) run hotter than the inlets, making sure tiles (which provide ventilation) are located in the right place makes the AC units run more efficiently. Also, make sure you have the right number of vented tiles in your data center. If you have too many or too few, efficiency goes down.

4. Mind the gaps. Eliminate nooks and crannies.

Many racks in data centers contain gaps, either as a result of extra space or equipment that has been removed. Whatever the reason, it makes airflow unnatural, and that’s bad for efficiency. “The exhaust air can go back through the intakes of the equipment, which makes you have to run the AC colder,” says Rasmussen. The answer: blanking panels. Installing these panels onto server rack cabinets are a way to make the air flow in a data center more efficient.

Many people forget to install blanking panels, even though server manuals from OEMs mandate their use. But Rasmussen says they are inexpensive (sold 100 to the box, in some cases) and easy to install.

5. Can it get hotter in here? Check.

Once you’ve done everything listed above, check to see if you can run the air-conditioning at a higher temperature. Rasmussen says that most units are set at around 55 degrees and some get as low as 45 degrees. The lower the temperature, the less efficient your data center is. “You should run that AC hot as you can without the servers overheating,” Rasmussen says. He says 68 degrees is a good target, but unless you are operating a brand-new data center with a top-notch design, you are unlikely to hit such a number.

If you follow the rules above, Rasmussen says it’s likely you can increase the temperature to 55 or 60 in a less-than-new building.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

1 2 Page 2
Page 2 of 2
Discover what your peers are reading. Sign up for our FREE email newsletters today!