IT Equipment & Management

We create tools and strategies to reduce energy use and cost in powering information technology (IT) equipment in data centers, as well as the necessary cooling and other support infrastructure.

IT Equipment

High-Level Best Practices

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. Key best practices include:

  • Turn off unused equipment
  • Decommission unused servers
  • Consolidate lightly used serversfuturistic data center_istockphoto-1180684429-612x612.jpg
  • 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, storagelarge 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)

Featured Resources



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. Download the PDF (5/26/2020)

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.
Download the PDF (12/2020)

The Energy Efficiency Potential of Cloud-Based Software: A U.S. Case Study
Analyzing the net energy implications of shifts to the cloud can be very difficult, because data center services can affect many different components of society’s economic and energy systems. This report explores the potential of cloud-based software due to both large reductions in total servers through consolidation and large increases in facility efficiencies compared to traditional local data centers.
Download the PDF (06/01/2013)

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 serversstorage, 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