by James Parker, Hugh Lindsay and Bill Brown in conjunction with the Square D Critical Power Competency Center
Energy consumption is a growing concern for data centers. Advances in server equipment technologies and increased demand for computing power have increased load densities in the computer room, which in turn has caused corresponding increases in data center power consumption. Energy efficiency measures are thus of high importance for data center designers, operators, and owners. This paper outlines a software-based approach to the data gathering, trending, and analysis that are necessary to apply successful energy efficiency measures in data center environments.
Energy consumption in the data center is growing; with this increased consumption comes an increased price tag, both in energy prices and the capital costs associated with the infrastructure that brings energy to the computer. Techniques for the reduction of energy consumption in the data center environment take many forms, and if these are implemented without an over-all strategy the maximum over-all energy savings will not be achieved. Such a strategy involves a large amount of energy usage data and a large number of computations, some of which must be performed for different sets of data. Doing this by hand is labor-intensive and may not give optimal results. Instead, the implementation of both a hardware monitoring layer and software monitoring and analysis layer allows the gathering of energy usage data and the analysis of this data to achieve maximum energy savings. Such a system can use elements of already-installed power monitoring hardware. Investing in such a system can allow data centers to realize energy savings today, and increase energy savings in the future as new energy-saving techniques are developed and implemented.