What are some of the biggest efficiency wasters in the average midsized data center?
- Demand Spikes
One common source of inefficiencies for data centers is operating at higher capacities than anticipated (Spikes in demand). A prime example of this is retail operations; they often see a greater demand during the holidays than they do at any other point of the year, but if they are maintaining that same level of capacity year round when the demand isn’t there, the retailer is wasting a terrible amount of energy (and money). Understanding your business and peak times of the year can lead to large savings in energy.
- Legacy Equipment
Maintaining legacy equipment can be a major source of inefficiency. Some data center managers are hesitant to replace servers and other pieces of equipment that technically still work (especially when budgets are tight), but when you analyze how much extra energy the old equipment consumes versus new equipment and then factoring how they stack up in regards to performance – it becomes very apparent that replacing older gear with newer gear is commonly the right way to go.
What tools and technologies are available to help find inefficiencies?
DCIM (Data Center Infrastructure Management) software is becoming more popular as data center managers are feeling increasingly more pressure to raise efficiency. DCIM software is essentially the all-seeing eye of data centers. It catalogs and displays all equipment within the data center, reports usage trends, monitors and reports heat loads within the cabinets, and even allows you to determine the effects of making a particular change before you implement it. DCIM allows you to be aware of all conditions within your data center and make informed decisions when it comes to actualizing modifications. It’s been reported that utilizing DCIM software can reduce operational expenses by up to 20%, as well as extend the life of equipment and the data center itself.