Managing power and cooling costs in the data centre

Managing power and cooling costs in the data centre

Gartner analyst Rakesh Kumar shares his tips for reducing costs, improving energy efficiency

Rising energy costs and increased spending on server hardware could mean more power and cooling strains put on data centre facilities over the next four years, according to an analyst from Gartner.

Speaking at Gartner’s IT Infrastructure Operations and Data Centre Summit in Sydney, UK research vice president Rakesh Kumar told delegates that data centre managers are predicted to spend 10 per cent more on server hardware over the next four years.

“We do have a power and cooling problem and it’s going to get bigger because the amount of hardware and servers you are buying,” he said.

According to Kumar, a mid-sized data centre of 10,000 square feet will generate energy costs of between 12 and 15 per cent.

He shared some tips to help reduce costs and improve energy efficiency.

“If you take a fully loaded Blade chassis environment from HP or Dell, it will consume about 25 kilowatts of power," he said.

“When you go out and procure new hardware, make sure you push your suppliers to give you data which says that a server from HP is more or less energy efficient than a server from Dell."

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Data centre managers should also look at their power usage effectiveness (PUE). According to Kumar, a PUE of three means a badly run data centre while a PUE of 1.3 to 1.7 means an efficient facility.

“A lot of the underpinning of getting the PUE down is to look at cooling techniques such as the ability to zone your data centre,” he said. "This means having a high density zone where a lot of power will be consumed.”

Free air cooling, using air from outside the data centre, can also help to reduce cooling costs.

“If you look at hot regions like Mumbai in India you can still get a degree of free air cooling so Sydney should be reasonably well positioned to take advantage of that.”

Kumar added that techniques such as virtualization will reduce the amount of physical servers needed and increase the amount of space in the data centre.

Energy savings of up to 50 per cent could be achieved by virtualizing the server and storage environment, he said.

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Tags Gartnerdata centresgreen ITdata centre coolingRakesh Kumar

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