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Turn Your Data Center Green by Doing Business as Usual

by on February 23, 2011

Data center administrators everywhere are being bombarded with tips and pitches for improving the energy efficiency of their facilities. That doesn’t mean, though, that an administrator has to be proactive to make their data center greener. They can conduct business as usual and still see their data center deepen its emerald hue.

Green_keyboard That’s because the components of a data center are always being refreshed. Software is upgraded or replaced. So are hardware and network infrastructure. The newer components brought online will be more energy efficient than the ones they’re replacing. Lower energy costs will result from that.

For example, swapping out old hardware for new every three years could have a substantial impact on a data center’s carbon footprint. “Due to Moore’s Law/innovation/greed (Pick any/all), new server hardware with the latest and greatest chips show up every 18 to 24 months,” Doug Mohney wrote in Green Data Center News. “You get more compute work per whatever footprint you wish to measure and better efficiencies per watt due to multi-core processors that are also, well, more powerful.”

Another benefit of a three-year refresh cycle is that it eliminates paying top dollar for the new hardware that you do buy, as well as getting a version of the hardware with the kinks worked out of it when you take it out of the box.

Other energy-saving technologies making their way into the mainstream include a new low-power idle technology for Ethernet networks that’s said to cut power consumption by as much as 80 percent and the use of ARM chips in servers, also with the potential for major energy savings.

“[I]t’s very likely that even data centers that haven’t implemented extensive green strategies will start to see significantly lower energy bills in a few short years,” Arthur Cote asserted at IT Business Edge. “And when coupled with any of the growing power and data management platforms hitting the channel, a highly efficient, streamlined environment shouldn’t be out of reach at all.”

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