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Three News Ways to Reduce Data Center Power Use with Virtualization

There are more reasons to reduce your data center’s power consumption than just saving the planet, too

Scaling back power needs in the data center is a noble ideal, but it’s something that very few organizations have truly been able to achieve. The fact of the matter is that increasing demand for service and capacity outpaces most of the greening efforts (and efficiency interventions like virtualization) that we can muster.

There are more reasons to reduce your data center’s power consumption than just saving the planet, too. There are financial incentives to doing so that have little or nothing to do with fossil fuel conservation or the ozone layer.

Part of the problem is that each data center is highly individualized. You can make changes to the cooling system efficiency, you can invest in advanced power distribution grids that ration power as it’s needed, and you can make a number of energy-saving procedural changes. Unfortunately, these methods may or may not pay off big in your data center.

Fortunately, there are ways to reduce your data center power usage that you may not have considered:

  • Explore additional virtualization. Normally when we think about the benefits of virtualization, we think in terms of the reduced overhead and management that goes with additional physical systems. To be sure, this has motivated us to the point where around 40 percent of servers are virtual. This has already reduced power costs, but now it’s time to think beyond just administrative savings. Chances are pretty good that there are some servers that you can consolidate that will give no added performance or that won’t reduce administrative overhead. Consolidating those, too, will still reduce power consumption.
  • Make your virtualization more efficient. Be willing to push the limits of your physical servers. You will break even on the cost of virtualization when you have an average of four virtual servers on each physical server. You really start to see savings, however, when you virtualize as many as 10 or even 15 servers onto a physical server.
  • Dump old equipment. Legacy servers burn more power. In some cases, it will actually save you money to dump that old, less-efficient server in favor of either virtualizing the application that’s on it or even installing new equipment. Even if the legacy application is going to go away, that new server can be used for other virtualization needs long after that application is gone.

Cut your power budget today by implementing these power-saving virtualization strategies.

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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.