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3 Emerging Energy Trends Data Center Management Should Consider in 2013

Data center management consistently face the difficult and ever evolving task of creating more energy-efficient practices. Each facility has to provide optimal conditions for server hardware, while ensuring the environment is cost-effective and optimal. Here are a few of the largest trends emerging in the effort to conserve energy:

1. Spend to Save
A solution for long-term benefits includes leveraging energy efficiency programs to help streamline the process and quickly see results. A survey conducted by Schneider Electric documented that 43 percent of energy leaders will spend more this year for better conservation than they had last year, with 64 percent reporting cost savings as the biggest driver for investment. Data center management teams noted that more efficient lighting and building automation would take more of a hold in efficiency strategies within the next five years.

“We have many opportunities right now — practical, tangible actions any business, government or homeowner can take — to improve efficiency with a quick return on investment and immediate results,” said Schneider Electric CEO Chris Curtis.

2. Control the Environment
Data center management has to make a lot of critical technology decisions while considering the facility. Ventilation and air conditioning can affect the amount of power used for data center operations. In a smaller space, it can be easier to control environmental factors, and implementing a tightly controlled module will result in better overall efficiency, according to ZDNet. The temperature of the space can also affect the energy cost and as such, the recommended conditions for a server to still function have been increased to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. While this new allowance can provide a lower power bill, the environment should still be closely monitored to ensure that the hardware doesn’t short out or start a fire. No matter what environment is chosen, keeping it consistent will also help keep the machines active.

Higher facility temperatures may help data centers conserve energy.
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Higher facility temperatures may help data centers conserve energy.

3. Better Manage PUE
Power usage effectiveness (PUE) has long been a struggle for data centers. PUE can measure power going to the servers against energy directed to facilities’ infrastructures and will calculate the efficiency of the environment, according to Data Center Knowledge contributor Patrick Flynn. One of the main flaws with PUE for data center management is the fact that it’s just a snapshot of the whole. The system can’t measure the efficiency standard next to productive computing. To deal with these inaccuracies, real-time PUE can be utilized to better measure energy use and provide a greater deal of specificity to help make continuous improvements.

Data centers absorb a lot of power in their productions. Observing best practices for energy-efficiency will help considerably lower costs and help data center management.

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