A number of business organizations today rely heavily on data centers for their efficient, secure, and smooth operation. However, running a data center does come with its own set of challenges, including high costs and ever-growing customer demands.
For optimal results, a data center has to be economical, highly flexible, and efficient in terms of energy, power, and space. Listed below are some of the important features to be focused on to make a data center highly efficient.
Traditionally, data centers occupied a lot of space, due to the need for designated sections for various server requirements. This made them both difficult and expensive to set up and maintain. Today, there are numerous ways to avoid this problem and build a single, compact and integrated storage space.
These are some effective ways to improve the space efficiency of the data center:
Selecting the Best Server Racks: While building a data center, choosing the right type of rack for the servers is necessary. Taller racks with customizable and substantial ‘U’ space are preferred, as they support vertical stacking of equipment and minimal use of space. It is important for the racks to be heavy-duty enough, with adequate weight capacity to support vertical growth. Racks with shelves that can slide up and down are very effective as this will enable free access to equipment during maintenance, repair and cleaning.
Optimally Using Available Racks: Racks use up a lot of floor space. Therefore, it is necessary to make maximum use of the available racks by populating them to the fullest. When these racks are not used up fully, it only contributes idle usage of space, which is a loss to any organization.
In order to be efficient in terms of energy and cost, it is imperative to pay attention to the air-flow and temperature management within the data center. It is also necessary to keep track of the center’s consumption of energy and emission of heat waste. Tracking these can help in analyzing the efficiency of the center and planning for further construction or modification. Efficient air-cooling is also an integral part of running an efficient data center.
The following are some cost-effective cooling methods that will help in reducing the hot air inside your data center:
Using the Right Equipment: High temperature inside the aisles can be controlled using low-power consuming and low-heat producing servers. Along with these, using higher-density server racks is also highly recommended.
Using Blanking Panels: The center can be kept cool by separating the hot aisles from the cold aisles. This can be done by placing blanking panels between the hot and the cold aisles to prevent the mixing of hot and cold air, thereby maintaining optimum temperature.
Using Plastic Curtains: Temperature can be maintained by simply using plastic curtains around the cold aisles to prevent the loss of cold air and ensure continued cooling.
A data center’s expense on electricity can be as much as 100 to 200 times higher than that of a standard office space (Source). This can be controlled by continually monitoring electricity consumption and making modifications to prevent over-consumption.
Adopting the following methods can help improve power efficiency in a data center:
Monitoring of Servers: Statistics show that 60% of power in a data center is consumed by servers. This, however, can be minimized by eliminating servers that are inefficient and replacing old servers with new, low-power ones.
Using Metered Power Distribution Units (PDU): PDUs are power strips that aid in the even distribution of power for devices and servers inside the racks. Metered PDUs are fitted with digital meters that can help in real-time monitoring of power consumption, thereby facilitating effective modification for improved power efficiency.
Insulating the Data Centers: Data centers tend to use a lot of power during summers, as additional cooling is required to maintain the temperature inside the aisles. One of the easiest and most effective ways to tackle this problem is to paint the walls of the centers with a coat of weather shield. This will provide better insulation, thereby improving power usage efficiency.
Hardy Racks is an ISO certified company and a leading manufacturer of data center equipment. Get in touch with us today for an expert consultation on how to set up and run your data center efficiently!