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Data Center Cooling Costs... Do You Know Yours?

Posted by: Tina Behnke on Oct 15, 2010

Data Center Cooling CostsHow much do you pay for electricity in your data center? 

Server room air conditioning is a big expense.  Do you even know how much you pay for your data center cooling?  In Flood's article, Forget 'green IT', meet 'greedy IT', he suggests the time for reckoning has come forcing many CIOs to "face the reality of what had been not just a hidden overhead, but one they'd cheerfully ignored." 

"We've been in effect running free for years, with the juice being paid for by our colleagues in facilities," adds Joe Baguley, European CTO of Quest.  "The IT organization has no visibility of those bills and so have no care or concern regarding the power consumption."

Certainly, the large data centers have the greatest opportunity for exponential cost savings, when implementing sweeping changes.  They also have the greatest opportunity to pay for these changes.  This is no small task!  The cost associated with "greening" a data center and implementing energy-saving practices is often prohibitive for the small data center or server room. 

Flood offers a few tips that can be implemented in all data centers and server rooms:

  • Install blanking plates -- a very effective piece of rack furniture that makes half-full racks that much more productive.
  • Raise floors -- when appropriate, clear the clutter from under the raised floor so air flow is improved.
  • Implement hot & cold aisles -- cluster servers doing similar work together and make sure the fans circulate the coolest air in that area for maximum benefit.
  • Turn up the thermostat -- today's computers aren't that fickle.  Be sure to check equipment tolerance to make sure this works for your server room then you can have the staff work in their that recommendation!

Another solution is to install portable spot coolers to take care of the hot spots in your data center.  Rather than cool the entire room, you'll save money by focusing only on the hot spot.  Plus, you'll be able to take the server room air conditioner with you when you relocate the computer equipment.  No sunk costs in a building you don't own!

How do you conserve energy in your data center or server room?  Please comment here with cooling energy saving tips.  The best advice usually comes from those of you on the data center front lines.  I'd love to hear from you.



Tags: Server Room Cooling, Data Center, Portable Spot Cooler