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A Comprehensive Guide for Data Center Power Management

 

The demand for having an in-house data center has witnessed a major surge in recent years, particularly among large-scale enterprises. Although this facility offers many benefits, it can significantly increase power consumption.

For the uninitiated, a data center is a dedicated space for computer systems, servers, and associated components in a building or a group of different buildings. It facilitates business operations as it houses infrastructure and backup components along with data communication connections. Studies reveal that a big data center can consume a lot of energy, which can be sufficient to power a small town.

To better understand data center power management, let’s start with understanding its power requirements:

Power Requirements of Data Center

Power requirements of a data center depend significantly on amps requirements for servers.  Amp ‘ampere’ is a measure of electrons that move through a power line. Electrical devices are rated based on the amps they can support. If a device has a higher amp, it can support more power and vice versa.

The requirement of power distribution units (PDUs) in a data center is also based on servers’ amps requirements. To put it simply, every rack has different power needs depending on the servers it has. However, a challenging aspect here is adding new servers in a rack. It not only impacts the power requirements of the rack but its efficiency as well since powerful servers require increased power density. They need more wattage, which consequently requires bigger circuits to accommodate additional power. Also, cooling units with a higher capacity are required for servers as these machines generate a lot of heat.

How to Improve Power Efficiency in a Data Center?

It is commonly believed that data centers only provide power to servers. This, however, isn’t accurate. A data center can power cooling/ventilation systems, environmental controls, security alarms, sensors, surveillance cameras, lighting, etc. Furthermore, uninterrupted power supply (UPS) is also charged in data centers. All this further enhances the need for power efficiency.

Take a look at some effective ways you can improve power efficiency in a data center:

Reduce Cooling Dependencies

As stated above, servers generate a lot of heat. This calls for the installation of cooling systems in a data center. However, some companies, in the past, installed cooling systems with far more capacity than required. This resulted in inefficiency and power waste.

The advice here is to optimize cooling operations and available space. Make sure the facility is properly insulated and it contains no additional machinery. There should be a strategic layout of equipment. The use of virtual machines can also help in this regard. If there is outdated equipment, consider replacing them with newer, more efficient models. The same advice must be followed for UPS. Get new UPS systems from reliable UPS suppliers in Dubai that are more energy efficient and offer long-term solutions.

Get Rid of Zombie Servers

Businesses today have become fast-moving and shift operations and processes constantly. Due to this factor, certain assets are often forgotten or overlooked. They remain lying idle, consuming space and power. We can call them “zombie servers”. It is important to identify and kill them at the right time to save power and make your facility more energy efficient.

Reevaluate Your Supplier Partnership

Companies usually partner with many suppliers for their different requirements. Contracts with these suppliers are signed for a long time. However, it is still crucial to reevaluate these partnerships from time to time and conduct a cost analysis. For example, if you’re sourcing power from company ‘A’, but company ‘B’ offers better rates, consider getting a new supplier on board.

 
 

Conduct Energy Audit of Data Center

A data center itself provides a lot of opportunities to lower costs and become more energy efficient. However, most managers tend to overlook them. You can find out about these opportunities by conducting a thorough energy audit of your data center. For this, determine the total budget that is used for IT and support systems. Furthermore, know about their power consumption and the real IT output.

The data produced by this analysis will help you know how much energy is actually being used and how much is wasted.

How to Know and Determine Your Data Center’s Power Distribution Needs?

Every data center’s power distribution needs are different. There’s no one-size-fits-all formula when determining it. The right way to go about this is to use PDUs.

The use of PDUs can help a great deal in knowing the power distribution needs of a data center and making it more efficient. A PDU is basically a device that comes with multiple outlets, allowing it to accommodate different equipment. Available in various forms and shapes, the main function of this device is to distribute electrical power in a data center. You can mount them vertically or horizontally, and they will power an entire rack of servers and other adjoined equipment.

PDUs are available in different types. The most commonly used among them are:

Basic PDU: It’s a small device that can only fulfill the power requirements of a small server room.

Metered PDU: Apart from distributing power, a metered PDU can measure power consumption and provide valuable data pertaining to power distribution throughout a server rack.

Monitored PDU: It is wired into the business intelligence platform of the data center. This allows them to offer real-time usage metrics.  

Switched PDU: The functionality of a switched PDU is similar to that of a monitored PDU. However, it comes with remote control, which allows the data center manager to monitor and manage power consumption right from the control room.

It’s important to take your company’s future needs into account when determining your data center’s power distribution. This is due to the fact that they have a longer life cycle, particularly when compared to servers and other equipment. Therefore, if you intend to add additional servers or equipment to the system in a year or two, you need to have the data center designed accordingly.

The Way Forward

To summarize, there’s not one but many factors that come into play when it comes to properly managing data center power distribution. Apart from taking them into consideration, you need to ensure that the machinery and cabling system is of high quality to make the data center power efficient. And for this, you can rely on Malco Technologies – the leading distributor for hardware and software products in Gulf countries and beyond.  

Description: Planning to set up a data center or want to make it more efficient? Here’s a comprehensive guide about data center power management

 

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