The growth of big data and the ever-evolving technology industry are causing overall data center demand to skyrocket – there are over 509,147 data centers worldwide today. This increasing use has, in turn, led to an enormous boom in energy needs (and escalating scrutiny of data center efficiency). But while data centers are a necessary part of today’s technologically-dependent society, they also consume roughly 1.3 percent of all electricity in the world.* There have been great energy efficiency gains in recent years with regards to data center facility operation, but continued emphasis on efficient practices should be a priority for data center managers.
One significant, yet manageable, source of energy and cost consumption in data centers is cooling. As reported by the Green Grid, long-accepted restrictions on data center operating temperatures are now being reconsidered, with new guidelines allowing for temperatures well in excess of 80.6 degrees. No longer needing to adhere to strict thermal ranges, data center mangers now have greater flexibility in choosing more efficient and money-saving cooling solutions. Although old habits are hard to break, putting real savings numbers behind thermostat flexibility can help push managers toward more energy efficient habits.
Schneider Electric’s new infographic, “Cool Smart, Save Smarter,” details savings that can be realized by increasing set point temperature just 1 degree or using a hot-aisle containment strategy. By implementing these smarter cooling techniques, data center managers and operators can quickly see their cost savings and energy efficiency increase dramatically, reaching up to $15,878 in electricity savings in a 1200kW data center, per year. To put this in perspective, these savings can equal everyday consumer expenses such as:
· The cost of 7 years of property taxes for the average U.S. home
· Cost of owning and operating a car in the U.S. for nearly 2 years
· 56 fewer cars on the road
Cooling data centers is a necessary part of keeping equipment from overheating and failing, and thereby reducing downtime, but it doesn’t need to be the energy-intensive, financial burden that it can be. Putting smart cooling strategies to use in data center facilities leads to even greater and smarter energy and cost savings.
*“Growth in Data Center Electricity Use 2005 to 2010,” http://www.analyticspress.com/datacenters.html