Greening the Data Center

Greening the Data Center: A Pocket Guide

GEORGE SPAFFORD
Copyright Date: 2009
Published by: IT Governance Publishing
Pages: 61
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt5hh5qx
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Greening the Data Center
    Book Description:

    Technological advances are only part of the equation. If you want to green your data centre, you will need to come up with a plan and to be able to implement it. Involving your employees in the process is crucial, and the culture within your organisation will have to change as well. This book tells you the most important steps you have to take to make your data storage more environmentally friendly. By following the author’s expert advice, you can lower your organisation’s energy consumption and therefore reduce your overheads.

    eISBN: 978-1-84928-009-9
    Subjects: Business, Technology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 2-4)
  2. PREFACE
    (pp. 5-5)
  3. ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    (pp. 6-6)
  4. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
    (pp. 6-6)
  5. Table of Contents
    (pp. 7-9)
  6. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 10-12)

    Organizations around the world rely on data centers to house their IT services in a manner that optimizes confidentiality, integrity and availability in support of the entity’s goals. The growth in the number of servers and data centers in the past five years has been nothing short of amazing.

    An accelerating demand for power is coinciding with an increasing demand for computing and storage capacity. In 2006, data centers consumed 61 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity, with growth projected at 12% per year.¹ Unfortunately, only 30% of the power that enters a data center is actually consumed by IT...

  7. CHAPTER 1: WHAT IS “ENERGY EFFICIENCY”?
    (pp. 13-14)

    The term “energy efficiency” is currently being bandied around a lot in the trade press and in meetings. Before we progress, this term needs to be reviewed, as it can give an insight into the work that needs to be done.

    Firstly, when energy is discussed we are talking about power (watts) over a period of time. Thus, energy is typically reported in kilowatt hours, (kWh), bearing in mind the following equation:

    kWh = (Watts × Duration of use in hours) / 1000.

    This is an important point – energy is a combination of power and time. All things being equal,...

  8. CHAPTER 2: PROCESSES AND PLANNING
    (pp. 15-19)

    Action without a plan is a recipe for suboptimal results if not outright failure. IT needs to develop an approach that supports the goals of the organization while also providing a means of lowering risks and costs.

    The following is an overview of processes that can assist with the planning and execution of data center energy efficiency improvement initiatives.⁷

    The first step is to develop an understanding of what the corporation is doing in terms of a green strategy and what senior management expects of IT in terms of supporting that strategy.

    The best way to manage an ongoing effort...

  9. CHAPTER 3: APPLICATIONS AND DATA
    (pp. 20-24)

    The reason businesses have data centers is, of course, to provide their IT services. Integral to those services are applications and the data that they generate. Changing some of the perceptions of how applications are designed and hosted can lead to a dramatic reduction in power and cooling requirements.

    The first step is to reduce the number of applications. Organizations that have grown their IT services without centralized planning, or through mergers and acquisitions, will often find themselves with a number of applications performing similar operations. It makes business sense to reduce the number of instances of each class of...

  10. CHAPTER 4: BROAD THEMES
    (pp. 25-27)

    There are some broad concepts that can guide efforts to improve power efficiency in the data center for both IT equipment and facilities infrastructure.

    Generally speaking, IT hardware and facilities equipment make more efficient use of electricity the closer they operate to their rated loads. For example, a server running at only 10% will be less efficient than one running at 90%. Likewise, a chiller running at 95% is better than one running at 40% of rated capacity. As a result, all things being equal, efforts to improve utilization of a given asset will result in improved power efficiency.

    In...

  11. CHAPTER 5: IT HARDWARE
    (pp. 28-35)

    The increase in demand for IT services creates a corresponding increase in the number of servers in the data center. If not properly managed, the demands for power and cooling will rise in an unsustainable manner. This chapter reviews opportunities to improve the management of the demands from IT hardware.

    Data centers may be running hardware that is generating operating expenses but no longer adding value. Essentially, these systems were put into production for some business purpose that is no longer relevant and nobody told IT to decommission the service and its underlying hardware. As a result, these “ghosts” continue...

  12. CHAPTER 6: FACILITIES – ELECTRICAL
    (pp. 36-40)

    Electrical infrastructure in a data center needs to be carefully planned. In today’s era of high-performance, high-density computing systems, the design needs to accommodate significant differences in power requirements, both today and into the future.

    Data centers need to be designed such that power can be added in phases. Otherwise, utilization is negatively impacted.

    A modular approach ensures that as demand increases and the data center grows, so does the internal power grid, including distribution and back-up systems. This could take the form of zones in the data center that are provisioned once demand hits a certain threshold, planned expansions...

  13. CHAPTER 7: FACILITIES – COOLING
    (pp. 41-49)

    Cooling is driven by power consumption and itself consumes power. Moreover, not only are some data centers constrained by power, but some are limited by their cooling capacity. The good news is that there are many ways to improve the use of existing services before building a new data center is required.

    There is a very simple reason why data centers must be cooled. As the temperature rises, so too does the component failure rate. Svante Arrhenius was a Swedish chemist who noted that chemical reaction rates double for every additional 10°C.²⁷ We can apply this to IT equipment in...

  14. CHAPTER 8: SELECTING A DATA CENTER LOCATION
    (pp. 50-53)

    Gartner estimates that 70% of the Global 1000 will need to replace their data centers in the next five years.³⁷ The primary drivers of this need are cooling, energy costs, and energy availability, but there are other dimensions that must also be considered.

    The following sections describe data center site-selection criteria that could affect cooling and thus power consumption.

    Because cooling is such a concern, there are benefits to picking locations that are cooler. This allows the use of economizers a greater percentage of the time to make use of “free cooling” from the environment, and thus reduce the need...

  15. CHAPTER 9: MONITORING AND REPORTING
    (pp. 54-56)

    A large part of understanding what needs to be done lies in understanding the current state of the data center. To control power and cooling costs and maximize utilization, we must be able to measure and report on this data, trended over time.

    Monitoring is becoming increasingly inexpensive and granular. Examples include:

    The use of metering, or intelligent, power distribution units that can give visibility down to the port level.

    Cooling systems that can track and report on their own activity.

    Servers that report on internal chassis temperature.

    The use of a sensor grid to track temperature and humidity throughout...

  16. CHAPTER 10: CONCLUSION
    (pp. 57-57)

    Improving data center power and cooling to protect the environment, while reducing ongoing operating expenses and protecting the brand, is a great example of how environmental benefits and business benefits are not mutually exclusive.⁴³

    Green IT is also an area in which solutions must properly address people, processes and technology. In terms of people, there must be the right culture, training, awareness, incentives and support from senior management. Processes must be designed, implemented and properly monitored to achieve their stated objectives of creating and protecting value. Lastly, we must understand Green IT requirements and both acquire and develop technical solutions...

  17. APPENDIX: ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
    (pp. 58-58)
  18. ITG RESOURCES
    (pp. 59-61)