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ENERGY STAR: Data Center Savings Recommendations

August 29, 2016

Energy Efficiency Solutions

Data Center operators are challenged with the balancing act of meeting green IT standards and saving energy, while keeping uptime through network redundancy.

One of these regulations comes from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which launched the ENERGY STAR program a few years ago to help homes, businesses and industries save money and protect climate through energy efficiency.

As a pioneer of energy-efficient technologies for data centers, Chatsworth Products (CPI) is committed to supporting you in every aspect of your data center energy-efficiency optimization—from cable management, to airflow containment to advanced power solutions.

The list below describes a few strategies recommended by ENERGY STAR to help data center and server rooms improve energy savings.

1. Server Virtualization
By consolidating multiple, independent servers to a single physical server, those servers can operate more efficiently, and reduce energy costs by up to 40 percent.

2. Decommissioning of Unused Servers
About a third of the equipment running in data centers consumes electricity without doing any computing.

Power IQ for eConnectBy deploying Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software such as Power IQ® for eConnect® by CPI, data center managers are notified of these “ghosts” servers and are able to proactively eliminate them. In combination with certain models of eConnect power distribution units (PDUs), it is also possible to monitor and switch servers at the outlet level.

3. Consolidation of Lightly Utilized Servers
A typical server’s utilization is about 5 to 15 percent, yet it draws full power. However, server consolidation increases the cabinet density, which in turn increases the potential for hot spots. Use CPI’s Monitored or Switched eConnect PDUs and Power IQ for eConnect to identify temperature changes at the rack level.

4. Invest in Technologies that Use Energy More Efficiently
In addition to energy-efficient servers, consider the IT infrastructure. CPI’s Aisle Containment Solutions isolate, redirect and recycle hot exhaust air, and provide “free cooling” in data center environments. Developed with built-in flexibility and high-quality engineering, CPI Aisle Containment Solutions easily adapt to challenges such as limited ceiling height and complex overhead pathways.

Complement your cabinets with eConnect PDUs, which feature a low-profile design and withstand high ambient temperature densities. [Did you know? CPI offers eConnect PDUs preinstalled in cabinets at no additional cost.]

5. Hot Aisle/Cold Aisle Layout
To avoid mixing hot and cold air, arrange your cabinets so that the fronts of the server racks face each, making the backs of the server racks face each other.

6. Properly Deployed Airflow Management Devices
ENERGY STAR recommends the use of blanking panels, which fill gaps between cabinets when a cabinet is omitted from the aisle/cabinet row. This avoids hot air returning to the aisle and improves operational efficiency.

It is good to expand this recommendation to other deployments. For example, further improve airflow containment with floor seals to prevent air from leaking from the bottom of the cabinet, aisle containment doors with automatic close system and filler panels to fill empty spaces between mounted equipment.

Finally, install grommets to seal areas where cables enter and exit plenums, racks and cabinets.

CPI Hot Aisle Containment7. Containment/Enclosures
Deploy containment solutions to further reduce mixing cold supply air with hot exhaust air. As mentioned, CPI offers Hot and Cold Aisle Containment, as well as Vertical Exhaust Ducts to help contain airflow at the cabinet level.

To see the differences of before and after applications of each deployment, be sure to contact us to request computational fluid dynamics analysis of your facility.

8. Server Inlet Temperature and Humidity Adjustments
To achieve and adjust temperature and humidity to optimal levels, install a series of temperature, humidity, power, pressure sensors throughout data center.

CPI offers Remote Infrastructure Management (RIM) System, giving you the ability to remotely monitor, record and analyze valuable environmental security and safety conditions in your data center and equipment rooms. RIM-750 provides remote monitoring of environmental sensors for a single server cabinet or a small computer or telecommunications equipment room. RIM-1000 provides remote monitoring of sensors and devices in your data centers and equipment rooms.

Energy efficiency can only be improved if you address and monitor every aspect of the data center—from the aisle, to the cabinet, down to the device level. For that, count on CPI to be your partner in solving your most complex challenges with the most appropriate and readily available solutions. To learn more about our energy-efficiency solutions, click here.

Raissa Carey, eContent Specialist

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