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Energy Management and Data Center Costs

energy managementKeeping data center costs down is an important priority, especially during tough economic times. One of the areas that's ripe for savings is the area of energy management. Some of the biggest names in IT are working on getting data center costs down in the area of energy demands.

Take, for example, the supercomputing program at Notre Dame. The folks in South Bend are working today with Cisco to come up with a new way to manage energy that will significantly reduce energy consumption. This work is leading to new patents on technology and concepts.

Effective energy management can produce significant cost savings to a data center environment, especially if you know where to start. While progress is still being made, there are things you can do today.

One area to look at is cooling. You need to be able to determine the right temperature for your data center. This will vary based on your particular components and hardware, but even a degree or two difference can make a significant impact on your energy expenditures.

Some of the most innovative energy management ideas related to cooling have to do with breaking free of expensive air conditioning units. While it's not likely that you can support a data center using only outside air during August, in many places across the country and across the world there are several months out of the year that outside air provides a perfect alternative to air conditioning. Air handling systems that incorporate cool outside air can save significant amounts of money.

Energy management software solutions can help, as well. These applications are becoming more and more sophisticated, and able to push power to exactly where it's needed when it's needed. Yes, there is a capital expenditure to get the system into place, but once it's up and running it will reduce your ongoing energy expenditures in a significant way. Cisco's EnergyWise is an example of this kind of solution, and more and more organizations are turning to energy management software as a quick and easy fix.

Virtualization is often bantered about as a way to save money on energy costs. This is true, to some degree, but it's important to look at the larger picture. Taking an inventory of your hardware and applications and retiring inefficient equipment in favor of new equipment or even virtualization can create significant energy cost savings, as well as savings in the areas of ongoing maintenance and support.

Ultimately, you need to take a holistic approach to the issue of energy management. Look at your data center's energy consumption from all angles, and decide where you can get the most benefit for the least cost.

Green Networking in the Data Center

Download this white paper from HP for more information about: 

  • The challenge of a complex data center
  • Green data center best practices
  • Power and cooling utilization
  • Building efficient infrastructures

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Unitiv, Inc., is a professional provider of enterprise IT solutions. Unitiv delivers its services from its headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia, USA, and its regional office in Iselin, New Jersey, USA. Unitiv provides a strategic approach to its service delivery, focusing on three core components: People, Products, and Processes. The People to advise and support customers. The Products to design and build solutions. The Processes to govern and manage post-implementation operations.