By Ken Rapoport, CEO of Electronic Environments Corp.
Our advice to clients who engage us for assistance in building and retrofitting data center facilities for energy efficiency: consider the foundations upon which your data centers are built and the assets deployed inside them. Reliability and energy efficiency are the overarching objectives. This approach reinforces that the data center will perform to expectations in meeting the requirements of their business.
In scenarios where the client is building a new facility, the energy efficiencies offered by large cloud providers can be an attractive option to consider based on a number of factors. For one, these providers can locate their facilities in geographic regions where the cost of energy is comparatively lower, for example in the northwest of the United States. They can also leverage customized servers that are able to operate at higher temperatures and higher efficiencies. Lastly, large cloud providers can take advantage of advanced scalability and uniformity capabilities. The net result can mean levels of Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of 1.02 or 1.01 — a significant achievement. However, a sizable number of businesses will not have these options, and therefore rarely achieve PUE levels of less than 2.0.
In order to reduce their PUE levels, EEC advises customers in several ways. First, we conduct assessments and deploy advanced technologies — for example, energy-efficient mechanical systems that take advantage of free cooling. The good news is that a number of powerful new technologies will deliver impressive returns and are available at comparatively low cost. These include intelligent air distribution and management systems that can achieve energy usage reductions of between 20 and 40 percent in just two short years.
Another option that can deliver greater energy efficiencies is to retrofit your legacy data center technologies. For example, if you’re operating a low-density data center, one that’s operating at 50 watts per square foot, you can deploy direct water-cooled racks or in-row cooling in zones in order to accommodate potential future zones of higher density servers.
For more information about EEC, visit www.eecnet.com.