Smart Data Center Infrastructure Investments to Reduce Power Consumption
April 19, 2021 By David Mettler
While data centers are the backbone of the modern information economy, managing all of that data requires significant power consumption.
In fact, in 2015, the world’s data centers comprised about 3 percent of the world’s energy supply. Estimates vary on current power usage rates, but some researchers predict that cloud and internet services could require as much as 30% of global power production by the end of the decade. Impacting this growth in consumption requirements are the rise of larger facilities that sometimes draw as much power as a small town – and older facilities tend to be less efficient.
As the need for capacity increases, data center operators have to figure out how to meet that demand through both new construction and by optimizing their existing infrastructure. Reducing power consumption is easier said than done, though. It takes clear commitments from data center operators to find new efficiencies by leveraging the latest technology.
Power Monitoring and Management Tools to Support a More Efficient, Modern Data Center Infrastructure
A clear-cut way to reduce power consumption is to monitor and manage infrastructure better. Multiple types of products can improve power monitoring in data centers, yield energy savings and reduce environmental impact, including:
- Virtualization: Using a virtual machine to control data center equipment remotely limits the required upkeep of certain equipment and allows data centers to run at higher temperatures, reducing energy usage.
- DCIM: Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software tools can monitor, manage and control data center infrastructure resources and energy consumption. CPG specializes in implementation of DCIM systems to support greater operational control.
- Other power management tools: Intelligent power distribution units and environmental sensors can also improve power monitoring. Gartner notes that using environmental sensors can save up to 4 percent in energy costs for every degree of increased baseline temperature.
Data centers can further reduce their power consumption by modernizing climate control technologies – as well as creative approaches to heat management. Like power monitoring and management, multiple solutions exist for making data center cooling more cost-effective and efficient, including:
- Aisle containment systems: Cold aisle containment (CAC) systems and hot aisle containment (HAC) systems incorporate physical barriers like doors and partitions into data center infrastructure to guide airflow and control temperatures in data centers. HAC systems, however, appear more eco-friendly with 40 percent savings cost over CAC systems, according to APC by Schneider Electric. This also corresponds to a 13 percent reduction in annualized power utilization effectiveness (PUE) for HAC systems.
- Recycling excess heat: Data center-generated heat can be repurposed for eco-friendly objectives. For example, Norwegian data center operator DigiPlex is working with a heating supplier to redistribute its waste heat to warm 5,000 apartments in Oslo, Norway’s capital.
- Free cooling systems: Free cooling uses fresh outdoor air to cool servers. It’s both efficient and can save money, too. Multiple types of systems exist for leveraging free cooling in data centers, and free cooling is particularly advantageous for data centers located in areas with cooler, drier outdoor temperatures.
Determining the best investments for your data centers can be difficult to navigate. With over 20 years of experience, CPG works as an end-to-end partner that offers services throughout the data center lifecycle.
Learn how CPG can help you make the right data center investments by clicking here.