DIY Green Data Centres
by Alan Harten
August 27, 2008
For many organisations making energy usage cuts has become a top priority.
However many are not taking these green issues seriously enough and are adopting a do-it-yourself approach, argues data centre consolidation specialists RichardsoNEyres.
According to their research most energy conscious companies are using all kinds of ad-hoc approaches to their environmental policies and lack a real plan or structure for what they are trying to achieve.
The data centres exist for the computers, and the computers are the model of streamlined efficiency but according to the research the companies do not take the same approach to green policies as they do to data centre effectiveness.
Putting it simply, the companies are not taking a professional approach to fuel saving and CO2 emissions.
They do not have the knowledge to deal with the problems but are not calling in professionals to help, even though they are aware of their own limitations.
They are taking a home DIY approach to solving their carbon footprint and wider environmental problems.
The research has prompted RichardsoNEyres to publish what it considers to be essential guidelines for planning a green data centre.
Companies need to undertake an IT infrastructure and data centre review, leading to an action plan to simultaneously reduce cost, improve performance and cut environmental impact.
Next they need an emissions review that can provide the foundation for understanding how to meet or exceed government or corporate environmental targets and will help meet the requirements of ISO14001, which specifies the requirements for an environmental management system.
Power costs are increasingly on the minds of data centre companies as continuing price increases begin to hit home.
Many estimates suggesting that the price of running and cooling hardware will soon outstrip the cost of the hardware itself. This is clearly an area for potential improvement.
Server and storage virtualisation enables companies to concentrate workloads onto fewer servers and storage devices.
Replacing physical servers and storage devices with virtual machines reduces the energy required to run them, thus reducing CO2 emissions and running costs.
Whether it involves moving remote IT facilities into a centrally managed location or combining existing data centres, consolidation can reduce the carbon footprint as well as simplifying management and reducing cost.
When purchasing new IT equipment, always check its rating under the European Community Energy Star programme for energy efficient office equipment.
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