Data Center Energy Efficiency – Protips from Google
Google comes up a lot in data center news, and it seems like more often than not it’s for their excellent energy-efficiency tactics. That reputation for being concerned and considerate about their impact on the environment is a great feature, and although their user-friendliness and ubiquity are enough of a recommendation, their green sensibilities are also a strong selling-point.
So it comes as exciting news that Bill Weihl, Google’s green energy specialist, shared some of the tips they use for energy efficiency. They’re nothing especially new and exciting, but what’s interesting is to know that Google gets the results it does partly just by following these simple rules.
One is to raise the temperature in your data center. 80 degrees Fahrenheit, or even higher if your hardware can handle it, should do – none of this 70 or lower business which is so common.
Another is to use hot aisle/cold aisle containment. I’ve written about this before, and Google’s support of it is encouraging. They use it even in small data centers.
A third is to use alternate means of cooling in conjunction with chillers… like supplementing the work your chillers do with some outside-air cooling, or evaporative cooling towers. Implementation of this technique is a bit more laborious than turning up the heat in your data center, but it’s worthwhile.
Other advice includes just making the most of power management tools that come with equipment in the first place, and spending money on newer, more efficient equipment, because it’s worth it. Virtualization is also an important energy-saver.
Apparently, using these tricks like Google does could lower your PUE to as little as 1.5. Awesome. Check out this article at PC World for more detail on this advice from Bill Weihl at the GreenNet Conference.
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