Data Centers are notorious places for major energy consumption, as well as for products that are made from materials that are not always friendly to the local environment. There are, however, many ways to create a Green Policy for your data Solutions Center that gives back to your bottom line. After all, every time you reduce energy consumption you reduce your operating costs. Here are some techniques/products our IT Engineers Love.
1.) Use Blanking Panels. Just by passively directly the flow of air, you can result in a 25% reduction in cooling requirements. One of our enclosure manufacturers shared a real application with us. A data center manager they worked with was having trouble with the facilities manager (like that never happens, right?) over the amount of cooling they were going to need for the next fiscal year based on the new equipment requirements.
They were going to add about 30 new servers to the data center and the facilities manager told them there was no way they were going to get another air handler. In this application, the data center manager added his 30 new servers, but also added blanking panels to the empty spaces in the racks. This resulted in the cold air being forced to go to the dedicated server and not flow randomly. The net effect was a 30% reduction in energy consumption, in spite of the additional power draw for the servers.
2.) Find a way to add new IT equipment to existing legacy IT systems to a business. This is less costly and more efficient than replacing the whole IT infrastructure. It also eliminates tossing a lot of equipment into the ever-growing garbage dumps. We found that Mincom has a solution to allow you to access and control legacy devices through a single piece of equipment and management software.
3.) Go lights out. Remote Managed and Metered Power is a great tool, but you should also look for software that allows you to manage all of your equipment remotely, through a single session, as well as enable others to have access as needed. Again, our favorite was Minicom. Their solution has time and again shown how they can not only save energy costs through remote management, but also overall IT expenses through access controls to legacy equipment.
4.) Look for EPEAT rated products. The data center extends beyond the server room to the offices loaded with laptops, CPUs, Monitors and Thin Client. EPEAT is a rating system to help you find those products that meet environmental standards. In this case, it is always best to “go for the gold”. Gold Rated Products have met all 23 of the mandatory requirements, as well as 75% of the optional items.
Making changes sound hard, but in this case, they are actually fairly easy. The end result is your ability as a disaster recovery management to control a budget that easily gets out of hand. Your other added benefit is making new friends in the facilities department with your reduction in energy usage. My suggestion is to use the cost savings to show job justification!