by Neil Rasmussen
Electricity usage costs have become an increasing fraction of the total cost of ownership (TCO) for data centers. It is possible to dramatically reduce the electrical consumption of typical data centers through appropriate design of the data center physical infrastructure and through the design of the IT architecture. This paper explains how to quantify the electricity savings and provides examples of methods that can greatly reduce electrical power consumption.
The cost of electricity for data centers is a substantial operating cost that can and should be managed. A data center designed for reduced power consumption also saves other costs such as capital and operating costs associated with power and cooling systems, as well as saving space.
Electrical consumption of existing data centers can be reduced through various low cost methods but primarily via migration to more energy efficient computing platforms. For new data centers, there are additional options both in the IT architecture and in the DCPI architecture
that can gain much greater savings.
The electrical power consumption is typically shared evenly between the IT loads and DCPI devices. Any rational approach to reduction in electrical usage must treat the combined IT / DCPI design as a system in order to maximize the benefit.
Some equipment providers offer complete standardized data center designs specifically engineered for efficiency, and energy efficiency audit services are available for users desiring to reduce power consumption in existing data centers.
The cost savings opportunities have been shown to be very large yet the investment required to achieve them is small or even zero in some cases, when compared with legacy approaches to data center design.