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Turn Up the Heat in Your Data Center & Save Cold Hard Cash

by on January 22, 2010


Cold_cash In these energy conscious times, it’s not often recommended to raise the heat to save energy but that’s the latest wisdom being peddled to data center managers. That’s because allowing a data center to run hotter means less energy spent cooling the facility.

Sixty eight degrees Fahrenheit may be okay for the living room, but it’s not so hot for the data center.


Servers, storage and networking hardware will run at temperatures exceeding 100ºF, but data centers don’t need to give their operators a tan to save money. Allowing the temperature in the center to rise from 68ºF to 80ºF can reduce the energy budget for the facility by as much as 50 percent.

The trend toward virtualization in the data center has reduced the number of servers in may facilities, but because the density of the hardware within the existing server boxes has increased, so has the heat produced within those boxes. Allowing the temperatures in the data center is fine, but it goes hand in hand with better energy monitoring.

A study released in the fall by Gartner asserted that energy monitoring is a weak point in the data center. It predicted that monitoring data center energy use would remain immature until 2011. However, the word on monitoring does seem to be reaching the right ears. A CDW study released during the summer noted that 43 percent of the IT shops it surveyed were implementing remote monitoring and management of energy used by their data centers, compared to only 29 percent the year before.

IT pros also told CDW that they’re finding it easier to identify energy efficient equipment since the federal government launched its Energy Star program for servers.

Despite energy saving efforts, CDW maintained that most data centers are spending more on energy than they need to do. If the average organization in the CDW survey took full advantage of energy savings measures, the computer equipment retailer noted, they could save $1.5 million annually.

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