Reduce Your Data Center’s Energy Use Through Server Power Management

Server power management remains an untapped opportunity for reducing data center use because most data centers rarely run at full capacity. This is a problem because, consequently, a facility operating at just 20 percent capacity may use 80 percent of the energy as the same facility operating at 100 percent capacity.

Server power management can significantly reduce the energy consumption of idle servers, but is not utilized in the typical data center because of concerns about response times for “waking” an idle server using power management.

The Green Grid, an industry consortium focused on improving data center resource efficiency, has conducted a research into server power management to identify the chief obstacles to adoption and is developing materials to help educate data center managers on server power management and increase utilization of this technology.

In addition, research has revealed that the risks of applying power management to older servers may be very low, as these servers contribute little to data center performance. In a presentation at AFCOM Data Center World in 2011, Intel presented an analysis of server utilization at one enterprise data center and found that servers installed before 2008 accounted for 60 percent of energy consumption, but only delivered 4 percent of relative performance capability.

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Long-term, older servers that contribute little to data center performance need to be identified and consolidated into newer servers; however, power management represents a powerful interim solution to cut server power consumption without additional technology investment. It also represents an ideal long-term strategy for enabling server power consumption to adapt dynamically to changes in data center load.

Data center infrastructure management systems that can collect real-time operating data from rack power distribution systems and consolidate this data with server utilization data provide the visibility to identify stranded capacity and enable safe and effective use of server power management.

Implementing power management, and also adopting low-power components and high-efficiency power supplies, can reduce total data center energy consumption by 10 percent.

If you want to learn more I suggest you to read Energy Logic 2.0, the detailed plan developed by Emerson Network Power for optimizing the data center efficiency.

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Steven Bartoszewicz