How to Reduce Energy Consumption in a Data Center

Data center managers are tasked with keeping everything running smoothly. On top of all the responsibilities, the importance of data center energy efficiency continues to increase. But how can data centers quickly and effectively lower their power consumption and still process data as needed?

Energy-efficient technologies become more available every day. We continue to learn more about simple ways to lower power usage in a data center. So if you’re ready to ensure that your site optimizes power consumption, we have tips for what you can do.


In the article:

  • Why Reduce Data Center Power Consumption?
  • How Can You Make A Data Center More Efficient?
  • Conclusion – The Future of Data Centers

Why Reduce Data Center Power Consumption?

First, why should data center power be optimized? Some may see reducing energy waste as just an extra item on their to-do list. But there are many reasons to reduce the energy consumption of your center while maintaining processing power.

Data centers may want to avoid scrutiny from the government and regulations. As the government enacts policies to lower the maximum power used by data centers, getting ahead and lowering power-consuming servers will keep business running as usual. Find out more about the best practices for an energy efficient data center .

Using less energy will reduce energy costs. And of course, overall energy efficiency creates an environmentally friendly site. When you save energy, you spend less on energy usage while also helping to prevent an environmental crisis.


How Can You Make a Data Center More Efficient?

There are a variety of ways to make an entire data center more efficient. Some are more complicated than others such as small changes to distributing power to completely changing operating systems. This will depend on your current electrical output and how much needs to change.

For finding the PUE of your site, take the given electrical power input for an entire data center divided by the IT output to find the efficiency. Efficiency allows for less energy to be used without lowering or even getting more processing output.

To make it easier, we have developed a calculator to take the guesswork out of calculating PUE.

Depending on your PUE, each site will require a different strategy. Learn about the ways a data center can be made more efficient and the key steps to improving data center efficiency.


Conduct a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) Audit

You can’t reduce data center power consumption unless you know your current data center power consumption. Take a close look at the site infrastructure efficiency with some key figures. For example, this will include seeing just how large the power demands are for backup equipment vs. cooling.

Here are some places to look for high input with very little return of processing output. Once you identify the parts of the site that are demanding the most energy, you can begin creating a strategy for lowering the need for fuel and electricity.

  • Underutilized equipment
  • Out of date IT equipment
  • High energy demands for cooling equipment


Enact an Energy Efficiency Plan

Turn Off Idle Equipment

The equipment power is a large part of the power infrastructure. Virtually all IT equipment runs on voltage constantly, even when idle. One of the easiest ways to reduce power consumption is simply to turn off all idle equipment. And most data centers have a lot of idle equipment to turn off, leading to big savings.

Consolidate Data Centers, Servers, and Storage

In every site, there exist redundancies and unnecessary electricity users such as large cooling equipment, back-up systems, dual power sources, and more. By consolidating storage, underutilized equipment, and blade servers, sites can save a large percentage of energy that would otherwise not help increase the amount of IT output.

Reducing CPU Power Consumption

Often, your central processing unit (CPU) operates at peak performance. But this isn’t always required, especially with underutilized data centers’ equipment. Now, you can purchase more energy-efficient chipsets that feature performances of dynamically switching between multiple performance states based on the moment’s need and reduce the energy consumed.

Switch to High-Efficiency Data Center Equipment

Your power supply unit is responsible for getting the right voltage to your equipment. It converts incoming alternating current to direct current. Older models have a very low efficiency rating, and opting for the higher efficiency model can make a big difference.

Change Your Uninterruptible Power Supply

Typically, the needed power distribution units pass through a UPS first and then use the common total input power voltages ranging from 100V to 240V AC. But the higher the voltage the greater efficiency. So update your UPS to higher efficiency levels.

Rethink Your Cooling System

You may not think much about cooling systems as they’re an essential part of a data center. But we have the opportunity to improve and reduce cooling costs. For example, liquid cooling systems reduce power consumption. And liquid cooling works very well for sites. Find a cooling system that works well for your site without a large energy demand.

Move to the Cloud

You don’t need to house every piece of data inside one data center. Host sites know how to use the power consumed efficiently to drive down carbon consumption. This frees up the server’s power budget by using tens of thousands of off-site servers.

Join the Smart Grid

The Smart Grid functions as a power management feature that provides renewable energy while also offering more reliable and available data center energy.


Conclusion – The Future of Data Centers

Lowering input power doesn’t require processing fewer amounts of data. On the contrary, you may find that your site can process more data at a fraction of the cost by using less electricity without compromising processing capability.

Working efficiently isn’t just a fad of environmentalism. It is becoming the standard of ensuring that a data center works well. There’s simply no longer any reason to pour money into cooling and back-up power chain systems that don’t contribute to the overall output of a site.

Data centers are finding ways to use less energy as IT equipment improves, CPU utilization features progress, and the design of the site is created with more thought for efficiency. Reducing the amount of fuel needed for sites only gets easier.

Learn about all the ways updated cooling practices and equipment  can improve your site’s performance. Take advantage now of modern technology to enjoy energy savings and an environmentally-friendly site.