Bill Detwiler: Whether your company is trying to go Green orjust save a little green, cutting back on the power used by your server room ordatacenter can help.
I'm Bill Detwiler, and during this episode of TR Dojo, I'llshare five practical power-saving tips for IT pros.
Reducing the power used by your organization’s data centeror server room is a good idea for at least two reasons. First, it can reduceyour power bill and who doesn’t want to do that. Second, if your server roomhas reached capacity with respect to the power available in your facility, thencutting back on your power use may be the only way to add moreequipment—without rewiring you building.
Regardless of the reason, TechRepublic blogger Rick Vanoverput together a quick list of practical power-saving tips for the server room ordata center.
And fist on Rick’s list – Virtualize
In his opinion, there’s no single more effective powerreduction strategy than to consider server virtualization. While the hosts(like VMware ESXi or Microsoft Hyper-V) may be larger and consume more powerper server unit than traditional physical servers, high consolidation ratioscan lower the average power consumption per server.
Along with consolidating servers, Rick also recommendsconsolidating or even eliminating server room hardware.
For example, during your next procurement cycle or UPSbattery replacement project, don’t just automatically buy the same old equipment.Reevaluate your room’s actual power consumption, which may be less than it wasduring your last round of UPS purchases.
Likewise, consider consolidating racks. If you have sixracks that are only 30 percent full, it might be time to move down to two orthree, if you want to leave a little room for expansion.
And as for eliminating hardware in your server room, Rickthinks it’s time to toss out your KVM switches and monitors. He suggests usinghardware controllers such as the HP iLO or Dell DRAC. For systems withoutcontrollers, he suggests creating a “crash cart” that has a small LCD screen,keyboard, mouse, and other miscellaneous tools. These devices would only beconnected when in use and therefore wouldn’t draw any power when idle.
Now, the fourth and fifth tips on our list actually comefrom TechRepublic members, who left a few great comments in the discussionthread attached to Rick’s original article.
First is member ccie5000, who suggests reexamining thecooling system in your server room or datacenter. Look for problems like unevenairflow, leaky raised floors, humidity instability, and improper set-points. Ifyour power bills are particularly high, you may even want to hire an outsideconsultant who specializes in datacenter cooling and energy use.
Now, the four tips I’ve already mentioned focus on fixing aserver room or datacenter with existing power problems. But, member Alpha_Dogbelieves many organizations, particularly small businesses, could prevent powerproblems from ever occurring in the first place by just avoiding frivolous ITpurchases.
For example, he worked with a customer who had purchasedeight servers to run basic internal DNS, PDC, mail and web services.Alpha_Dog’s company was able to rework the client’s network to use only two ofthe servers and sell the rest.
Well that does it for this edition of TR Dojo. Thanks toTechRepublic blogger Rick Vanover, who put these tips together, and theTechRepublic members who shared their suggestions. Be sure to check out Rick’sblog post and the attached discussion thread for a few more power saving ideas.I’ll link to it from the TR Dojo blog.
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