It seems that sustainability is the buzzword of late. Regardless of which industry a business belongs in, companies are taking a proactive approach to be more environmentally conscious and resource-efficient in their business practices. This can be attributed to the fact that people are shifting their lifestyle habits to become more environmentally friendly. As companies propose sustainability initiatives to meet people’s growing demand to be kinder to the earth, data centers are also jumping on the bandwagon to become greener.
The thing about data centers is that they require extensive amounts of energy to operate. Energy is generated by burning fossil fuels, increasing carbon emissions that bring out adverse effects to our environment, not to mention our health as well, such as global warming and pollution. As such, such large consumption of energy creates a domino effect that impacts everything and everyone around us.
In order to make a greener data center, we have to mainly look at decreasing the energy waste. Considering the amount of energy used plays a central role in the environmental impact of data centers, it makes sense that data centers should be more energy-efficient moving forward.
Listed below are energy-efficiency measures that IT managers can implement to create a more sustainable data center infrastructure.
1. Consolidate servers
Most of the time, servers are not running in or even anywhere near full capacity. In this case, you can consider consolidating the servers to enable multiple workloads to be hosted simultaneously in just one high-powered server. This way, you can fully optimise any existing servers from a data center, which means that energy consumption is drastically minimised as there is no need to power the air conditioners, power distribution units, and so on.
If server consolidation is not a possibility, you can instead upgrade your servers to those that have built-in energy-saving or power management features. Once activated, these features enable servers to consume a lesser amount of energy when not in use or during times of low utilisation.
2. Install hot or cold aisle containment structures
It is up to personal preference or how the data center is set up when it comes to deciding on whether to install a hot aisle containment (HAC) or cold aisle containment (CAC). Nevertheless, both aisle containment structures are effective in saving energy as they prevent air from leaking out. It is important to make sure the rows of server racks are positioned so that the fronts face each other, while the backs are facing towards each other.
If done well and correctly, you will find that you will have better control of the data center cooling system, make accurate predictions on any changes, and have a higher degree of management control of the inlet air temperature in the IT equipment.
3. Install in-rack cooling
As the name suggests, in-rack cooling is a cooling system that directs cold air to the servers, while eliminating hotspots at the same time. In high-density environments or small data centres, in-rack cooling comes in handy as it has been found to save up to 3 times more energy as compared to other supplementary cooling systems. Since in-rack cooling is incredibly effective in preventing the servers from being overheated, this gets rid of the need for fans and computer room air conditioners (CRAC). Therefore, reducing energy consumption in the long run.
4. Deploy Liquid Cooling Units
As power-intensive applications and server densities have increased, Liquid Cooling Packages (LCPs) have become a valuable alternative to ambient air cooling and can better meet the cooling challenges presented by high-density computing clusters. These modular, temperature-neutral, and high-density cooling solutions utilize air/water heat exchangers to provide uniform, effective cooling. Liquid cooling units use a special horizontal airflow with constant-temperature cold air provided at the front intake and hot air removed from the rear of the enclosure. They can be mounted at the rear side of the rack, replacing the rear door. Fully loaded RDCs have up to 55kW cooling output with three cooling modules possible per equipment rack, controlled variable speed fan, and water flow based on actual heat load generated in a cabinet.
Conserving energy not only is kinder to the environment, but also allows companies to cut down on their utility expenses. It is no secret that electricity is one of the major factors that make up a huge percentage of the overall business costs, which may come at a disadvantage for smaller businesses and companies that are looking to have a higher profit margin.
At Bentec Digital Solutions, we are always ready to assist you in data center infrastructure solutions, so that you can fully optimise your data center performance. From offering various types of server rack cabinet in Singapore to power distribution unit in Singapore, our range of products and services are designed to increase the efficiency of your data center. If you have an enquiry, feel free to reach out to us today.