3 Strategies to go green and save green with Dell and Intel

Researchers are proving that what is good for your data center and budget is also good for the environment. Here's a quick strategy guide on how to go green and positively impact your bottom line.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

September 19, 2011

4 Min Read

Researchers are proving that what is good for your data center and budget is also good for the environment. Here's a quick strategy guide on how to go green and positively impact your bottom line.

Right-sizing servers, measuring/monitoring, and improving your Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) will result in an improved bottom line and a greener environment.

1) Right-sizing your hardware and monitoring power consumption can deliver the same quality performance to your customers.

2) You save on space, power, cooling and maintenance-and you don't get stuck paying for more than what you need.

3) The environment benefits from operational efficiencies including reduced energy consumption and a smaller carbon footprint; and supply chain efficiencies including smaller quantities of more environmentally-friendly packaging.

Implement one or more of the following 3 strategies

1. Right-size servers to boost your hardware performance and efficiencies. It's no secret that the world's top cloud providers and search engines use servers engineered for performance and efficiency at scale. These lean machines are stripped of superfluous components, and utilize shared infrastructure to reduce space, power and cooling demands. Dell's PowerEdge C servers are specifically built for scale-out environments. With Dell Modular Data Centers, Microsoft Bing Maps reports 8x in cost savings with 5x the density than traditional computing models, and achieved a PUE of 1.03!

2. Measure and monitor your power consumption at a more granular level.
To control your power and cooling costs, you need to measure BOTH the server and data center levels. Why does this matter?

  • By 2012, the power costs for the data center equipment over its useful life will exceed the cost of the original capital investment.

  • By 2020, the carbon footprint of data centers will exceed the airline industry

Measure and monitor performance and efficiency by using your server's built-in power management capabilities. Intel® Intelligent Power Node Manager provides power monitoring and policy-based power management at the individual server level. By adding a power management console like JouleX Energy Manager (JEM), you can lower server power consumption by up to 25% without impacting performance.

3. Improve your Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE).
Implement efficient power and cooling best practices throughout your data center facility. For higher power density facilities, electricity costs can account for over 10% of the total cost of ownership in higher power density facilities. The Green Grid and EPA EnergyStar offer ways to benchmark current performance of data centers, determine levels of maturity, and identify next steps to achieve greater energy efficiency.

Some of the more common techniques that have become popular include:

- Fresh air technology allows servers, storage units, and network switches to run at more extreme temperatures (up to 113?F in excursion-based operation) to help save on cooling, and in some climates, eliminate chillers altogether.

- Economizer cooling involves using only outside air to keep the data center cool. A test done by Intel proved this method effective in climates as hot as 92ºF.

- Data center containment such as creating hot and cold aisles to prevent cool air mixing with hot, resulted in a 7.7% improvement in overall energy efficiency and 18.8 million kilowatt hours (kWh) annualized savings for Verizon.

Take the next steps to running a greener and more cost-effective data center
Visit Dell's green page to learn more about Dell's approach to green technology. Learn about Intel Intelligent Power Node Manager on the Dell PowerEdge C Series Energy Efficient Server. Dell's Data Center Capacity Planner provides power, cooling and airflow estimates for server centers. Request the JouleX Enterprise Energy Management Buyers Guide to learn more about smarter power consumption management. Benchmark your data center with tools and research from Green Grid and EPA EnergyStar.

What is PUE?
PUE = total facility power divided by IT equipment power. PUE is the ratio of the total amount of power used by a data center to the power delivered to the equipment used to manage, process, store and route data. An ideal PUE is 1.0.

Brandon Draeger is a Product Planning Manager on the Dell Data Center Solutions marketing team where he defined the first generation release of Microservers for the Power Edge C-series portfolio. Brandon has extensive background in product development and marketing in multiple disciplines of Enterprise IT including Networking and Systems Management, Security, and Hyper scale Optimized Server Infrastructure.

This content has been published on InformationWeek as a part of a sponsored content program and does not express the reporting, opinions, or position of InformationWeek, its editors, or its parent UBM TechWeb.

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