According to a 2016 Ponemon Institute study, the average cost of a single data center outage increased from $505,502 in 2010 to almost $740,357 last year. At this rate, a single outage could cost your data center upwards of $1 million by 2022.
The largest cost of an outage is the disruption to business, followed by lost revenue. Costs from IT activities were also significant in the cost of an outage. What’s more, human error was responsible for 22 percent of outages in the most recent survey of data center problems. This illustrates the need for an approach that improves data center efficiency from many different angles – not just a technology angle.
It’s not enough to try and avoid unexpected downtime. More and more data center managers are taking a proactive approach to increasing efficiency and cutting costs. Implementing a really effective mechanical server lifting and equipment handling solution, and better energy efficiency standards can both help a lot. Here are some common tactics implemented by managers seeking to improve data center efficiency in that regard:
Reduce Cooling Power Consumption
A typical data center uses approximately half of the power available for running IT equipment, allocating most of the remainder to cooling. In fact, cooling costs are now so extreme that some Fortune 500 companies are experimenting with underwater server farms.
In order to cut down on overall cooling costs, identifying and eliminating inefficiencies in your cooling system is essential. This could mean upgrading your cooling system or making a better use of outside air. This should not be a one-time upgrade, but an ongoing process to adapt and evolve.
Virtualize the Space
One of the biggest culprits of waste in data centers is limited server utilization. When servers aren’t properly utilized, a lot of energy will go to waste, which isn’t good for the bottom line or the environment. Virtualizing your servers can increase utilization from 10% to almost 30%, and is worth looking into.
Choose the Right Server-Handling Technology
Of course we think that server lifts are important pieces of technology in a data center. Not only can they improve safety in the data center by helping employees avoid injury, they can also increase efficiency. This is especially true if you are moving servers frequently or trying to move servers quickly from one area or data center to another. A server lift designed specifically for a server center will also be compact enough for the aisles between racks, and will be able to handle the lifting heights required in a typical rack configuration.
Selecting the right server lift for your data center must take into account:
- weight capacity
- platform rigidity
- operator’s access to the server during use (especially important if the server needs to be lined up to seat properly)
- the turning radius and footprint of the machine
- safety certifications
- lift power.
You will also want to decide if a manual or powered solution is best – manual versions can wear out the operator when moving a number of servers, and also require that the operator is standing behind the unit rather than hear the lifting mechanism and rack. In addition, you’ll want to consider if the lift is going to be able to scale with you as your data center grows.
Saving a few dollars on the wrong lifting equipment could end up costing you much more time and money in the long run if you’re not careful.