Today's data centers are increasing computations per watt, but computation demand is increasing even faster, so overall energy use is increasing. The lifetime electrical cost of operating a data center may soon exceed the cost of the IT equipment. However, IT equipment load can be controlled.
Reducing the IT power requirements through energy-efficiency improvements cascades through the data center and results in a multiplier effect through savings on infrastructure power: Every unit of IT power saved reduces infrastructure power to energize and cool the IT equipment. Data Many energy efficiency opportunities involving IT equipment such as servers, network, and storage remain untapped. Data center owners and operators can take advantage of not only higher efficiency IT equipment, but also data center management strategies such as utilization, consolidation, and virtualization to prevent excessive IT energy consumption.
High-Level Best Practices
Key best practices include:
- Monitor utilization of servers, storage, and networks
- Turn off unused equipment
- Decommission unused servers
- Consolidate lightly used servers
- Ensure IT power supplies are properly configured
- Virtualize the computer hardware platform, operating system (OS), applications, storage devices or network resources
- Install IT management systems and applications
- Improve power management or ensure onboard power management controls are active
- Optimize storage through deduplication, deploying RAID, etc.
- During refresh, procure more efficient IT equipment (ENERGY STAR-certified servers, storage, large network equipment, and UPSs)
- Configure IT hardware to reduce data center infrastructure requirements:
- Buy equipment that is environmentally hardened or able to withstand higher temperatures
- Design for direct current (DC) powering
- Integrate UPSs into IT
- Buy servers that are, or can be retrofitted to be, liquid cooled
- Enable demand response
- Provide for redundancy in the network (duplicate services in linked data centers, rather than hardware redundancy in each data center)
- Upgrade to higher efficiency servers
IT Equipment Efficiency Tool
The CoE's IT Equipment Efficiency Tool was devloped to help accelerate the energy savings in data center by identifying opportunities through IT equipment upgrades. The tool can serve as both a learning aid and a tool to assess data center owners and operators in building a business case for IT energy efficiency improvements. Access the tool.
Getting IT & Facilities Working Together as a Team
Presentation to the DCOI Cloud & Infrastructure Community of Practice (C&I CoP) is a deep dive into LBNL's experience with a cross-functional energy optimization teams, including the stakeholder engagement other and processes put into place to achieve energy efficiency in the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC). The presentation also reviews other CoE reports and work products that can help facilitate cooperation in pursuit of common energy efficiency goals. Access the Presentation.
Data Center Master List of Efficiency Actions
This comprehensive list of recommended efficiency actions for data centers provides more information on the high-level best practices outlined above as well as a more detailed list of best practices related to cooling air and air management. Access the Master List.
ENERGY STAR Office Equipment
The ENERGY STAR program includes links to purchase ENERGY STAR-certified servers, storage, UPSs, and large network equipment. Go to the ENERGY STAR Page.
Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) Guidance
Pages for energy-efficient servers, storage, and UPSs provide federal agencies with guidance on calculating cost-effectiveness, claiming an exception to purchasing requirements, incorporating Federal Acquisition Regulation language in contracts, finding federal supply sources, and tips to user products more efficiently. Search for Energy-Efficient Products.