Intelligent CIO North America Issue 21 - Page 40

FEATURE : DATA CENTERS
Herman Chan , President , Sunbird Software , offers his best practice advice on how organizations can take steps to reduce their carbon footprint and why DCIM software is key to achieving this .
What are some of the steps DC operators can take to reduce their carbon footprint ?
There are tried-and-true best practices that can help any data center operator reduce their carbon footprint .
First , operators should instrument their data center with meters and sensors to collect data on their power and environment . This data is critical for making the most informed energy management decisions .

wWhat role does the data center industry have in contributing to global energy usage and how are DC operators tackling this ?

The data center industry is estimated to be responsible for somewhere between 2 – 3 % of all global energy consumption . With energy-hungry technology like 5G mobile networks , Big Data , and Artificial Intelligence still just taking off , data center demand is likely to continue to grow for some time .
Raising the temperature is one simple way to immediately increase efficiency . Modern equipment can handle warmer environments , but many operators play it safe and keep temperatures cool . However , they can reduce energy consumption by 4 – 5 % for every 1 ° F increase in server inlet temperature .
Separating cold supply air from hot exhaust air via hot / cold aisle containment can improve energy efficiency by up to 40 % compared to an uncontained environment .
Minimizing bypass airflow improves cooling efficiency . Materials like blanking panels and raised floor grommets are cost-effective and easy to implement solutions that can achieve small but noticeable energy savings .
As customers , governments and industry regulators push for increased social responsibility , many data center operators now have corporate sustainability goals to meet . In many cases , organizations have set goals to be carbon neutral – or even carbon negative – by as early as 2030 .
To meet their corporate sustainability goals , data center operators are now laser-focused on saving energy , maximizing the utilization of their existing footprint , reporting on energy efficiency metrics and following best practices for sustainability .
Up to 30 % of servers in a data center may be ghost servers that consume energy but perform no useful function . Ghost servers , along with power hogs , should be identified and decommissioned , virtualized , or replaced with more efficient equipment .
Reusing and recycling equipment is encouraged to reduce the amount of unnecessary carbon emissions caused by the equipment manufacturing process .
Renewable energy such as solar , wind and hydroelectric power may be purchased or generated

DCIM software :

A must-have for dramatically increasing energy efficiency in the data center space

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