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Price, Performance, and Greening the Data Center

green data centerIn theory, one of the biggest benefits of “greening” the data center ought to be significant cost savings. After all, it’s simple math: if you have more efficient data center equipment and servers, they’re going to need less in the way of both power and cooling. Power and cooling are two of the most significant data center operational expenses, and by reducing them you reduce costs.

Unfortunately, theory doesn’t always match up with reality. In some cases, implementing more energy efficient technologies creates a situation where performance becomes an issue. When you save power at the cost of sacrificing performance, you’re going to wind up using as much or more power in the long run when you have to add capacity.

There’s a sweet spot to be found that balances energy efficiency against the performance needs of your data center. The problem is that this sweet spot isn’t always apparent. In addition, it’s hard to tell for certain what power consumption (and performance, for that matter) are going to be like until a given server is actually into production.

That being said, server manufacturers seem to be moving in a greener direction. Low-power processors that are being manufactured these days are consistently providing as strong, and stronger, performance than their high-power predecessors. In fact, if the rest of the market, as well as VARs would make the same level of headway that have been made by server manufacturers, it would be much easier for a given organization to realize significant power efficiency improvements while still meeting the same service levels.

The key, going forward, is going to be for everyone in the spectrum – from hardware manufacturers through VARs and more – to provide truly more efficient solutions. Being able to create cooling systems for the data center that use significantly less power and that can be implemented close to the cost of a less-efficient cooling system, for example, can put them ahead of the rest of the pack.

Meanwhile, organizations are skeptical. Some have been burned in the recent past, shelling out significant capital in exchange for solutions that, while they do save power, don’t provide sufficient cost savings to justify their implementation.

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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.