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The New Black? Track your Greening in measuring Data Centre Efficacy

green briefcase

BANGALORE, INDIA: In keeping with Gartner’s report, by the end of the year 2008, 50 percent of the current data centres will have inefficient power and cooling capacity to come across the demands of high density equipment. Consequently, business continuity is going to face a major setback.

Sans cliquishly but rather voguishly, towards a lean, green way

Bounteous has been talked about green data centre, but not much has materialised till date. In line with studies, there will be a 10x increase in energy footprint in 10 years and by 2012, the cost of cooling and power is going to increase by 22 percent. For every Rs. 1 spent on power, another 50 paise has to be spent on cooling, that is.

Sandeep Ghildiyal, practice head-platform-consulting, Wipro, reportedly said that, “Major concerns in the present scenario are how to reduce excessive heat generated from data centres and how to achieve power optimisation. Every CIO is in look out for redundancy and virtualisation is the best means to achieve it.” He rhetoricised the same when was present in discourse at ‘Data Centre 2008 Summit’, recently.

The word green has been around for pretty sometime. “Green, in other terms is efficiency, i.e., efficient operations with minimum input costs in terms of electricity, water and capital,” Ghildiyal volumnised.

R S Prasad Rao, director, Ctrls Datacentres, reportedly said that, “Change IT governance to incorporate energy consumption as a significant component to total cost of ownership. We found that only 28 percent of the available supply of cold air was directly cooling computer equipment. Whereas, 72 percent was bypassing the complete equipment, which dramatically reduced cooling.”

Kallol Hazra, director-consulting, HP India, articulated, thus, “Inside a data centre, front-to-back cooling is very inefficient and thus we tend to lose 20-35 percent of power. In the next four years, one out of four data centres will experience business disruption and 80 percent of data centres are over provisioned. The best practice to achieve cost optimisation is to transform IT from a physical to a strategic asset.”

Power quality monitoring

“There is no standard method to calculate how efficient or green a data centre is. In order to attain power optimisation, companies must adopt Green Grids/LEEDS, which are the world class ‘Green IT Certified’ ones,” Ghildiyal maintained.

“A common mistake CIOs tend to make is to design for worst-case scenario, which results in ‘over engineered’ solution, i.e. components are overpowered but remain underutilised, adding to the woe of cost structure,” Ghildiyal went on to add.

“40-50 percent of the inefficiency inside a data centre is due to lack of best practices deployed,” Rao observed.

economy environment

Maximum dynamism efficiency with the least possible environment impact:

Switch to fewer high capacity disks

Space optimisation of racks: Trade between space and density inside a data centre

Use slower disks (7,200, 10,000 rpm)

Escalate disk utilization

Interchange rarely accessed data to tape

Under-floor or overhead wiring

Being Game for solar panel

Implementing raised floor cooling.

Go for sensible cooling: Model the cooling flow (CFD) to minimize hotspots.

“Dynamic smart cooling is the way to go. That is to arrange racks alternately as hot and cold aisles. Inorder to increase the efficiency of the data centre, we deployed power and network wiring under-floor or overhead. Such a wiring mode was designed for five-ten years of lifecycle. Tiling of the data centre is also very crucial. We deployed modular racks for cooling. At HP, we also consolidated data centres and reduced it to three from 85 data centres in total,” Hazra opined.

Green data center

“During a span of three years (2005-2008) we found that power consumption was cut down by 40 percent. We were able to achieve decreased storage cost. Networking cost came down by 50 percent. By data centre consolidation we achieved 30 percent fewer servers,” he states.

Exactly how to achieve cost optimisation of data centre

  • Virtualisation
  • Blade servers
  • Water-cooled air conditioning
  • Maximum utilisation of raised floor
  • Low cable coverage space
  • Light sensors
  • Water treatment and re-circulation plant
  • Hot air containment
  • Continuous monitoring

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BiS Team

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