Another deciding factor is cost. The new low power processors and memory are more expensive as vendors Keeping cool and saving money look to recoup the costs of development and production. So the financial decision doesn’t just Keeping the datacentre cool is like chasing a include the cost of power and cooling, but also the cost constantly moving target. As newer equipment is of acquisition. This is less than a quarter of the cost of introduced into the datacentre, the temperature a server over a three-year period, but the energy balance and the energy consumption change. IT savings must be carefully calculated. and Facilities Managers need to work together to keep things under control. It is not just about buying new hardware. Over time, equipment gets upgraded and even when a server is Striking the right balance between the cost and energy replaced that does not mean it is no longer used. Often required to cool the datacentre and run hardware can a server replacement program brings in new hardware be difficult. The measure of how efficiently you are for the most demanding applications and reassigns using energy in the datacentre is defined as PUE. An older hardware to less difficult tasks. efficient datacentre should have a value of 2, but what does this mean? The days of upgrading processors and memory are long gone for most organisations. This is because the To arrive at the PUE for your datacentre you take the cost involved, especially in downtime and engineer amount of power you are consuming and divide it by time, usually outweighs the cost of buying a new the power used to run equipment. If you are server. consuming 15MW of power but your IT equipment only consumes around 5MW then your PUE rating is Yet there are things that can be changed over time and 3. This is relatively inefficient and shows that too which will have a significant impact on power and much power is being wasted on cooling the cooling costs. Power supplies and fans are becoming environment. more efficient. There are also products that vendors standardise across their entire hardware range. It is As you reduce the power used to cool the datacentre, worth looking at the replacement costs for some of more power is released for hardware. But this these units as they age. increases the amount of heat that needs to be removed and thus the cooling bill goes up. So what can you do Cooling technology with fans has also taken a huge to strike the right long-term balance? leap forward. The more efficient a fan is, the less power is required to cool processors and memory. This The first step is to consider what you are buying. does not alleviate the problem of cooling the air once Processors and high performance memory consume a extracted, but it does create an immediate power lot of power and require plenty of cooling. There are saving. low power versions of both processors and memory, but they are often more expensive and have a lower Management solutions like HP Insight Power Manager compute capability. allow you to set limits on the amount of power being used by server and storage blades. This allows IT and There is no simple answer as to whether it is more Facility Managers to agree on how to match power efficient to buy a powerful server with higher power usage to cooling capabilities, especially where there is and cooling requirements, or two lower power but a limit on the amount of cooling available in the more efficient servers. The application you are running datacentre. will often dictate what is required of the server, with applications such as databases and financial or Hitting any moving target is hard. And when that scientific calculations requiring the maximum target falls across two departments, IT and Facilities processing capability. In comparison, servers running Management (FM), it is especially challenging. Using multiple virtual machines are able to lower power hardware and replacing less efficient move their workloads around to make the best use of components will help IT meet the restrictions placed resources. upon it by FM in terms of power and heat. Buying energy efficient hardware may be more expensive from an initial Capital perspective, but if IT is to help reduce Operational Expense, it must be given the necessary budget increases to buy the right hardware. In the long term, it will pay off.
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