How can we make our cloud data center more energy efficient?

As a cloud provider, how can we make our data center more energy efficient?

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The key to managing power in your data center is to come up with objective power criteria for measuring the cost of power, such as measuring it by kilowatts per square foot. Once you are measuring power consumption, it makes it easier to look at your technology choices and compare "apples to apples" when considering the cost of power.

The facility that will house your cloud service will go a long way in determining how efficient your data center will be. There are many tools that can help you model your data center layout to increase the efficiency of the cool air distribution and heat dissipation in your data center. Also, the type of floor you have (for example, a raised floor) and the types of cabinets that will house your equipment (for example, enclosed cabinets) need to work together for maximum efficiency. Once you have your floor plan layout and you have modeled the efficiency of your design, the next step is to look at the selection of your equipment.

The first step with your equipment is to examine the power consumption of your cloud servers. Do they maximize the efficiency of power consumption versus the computing output? You will find that the largest consumers of power in your data center to support your cloud service are your servers.

By following these first key steps, you will have the foundation for an efficient cloud data center that can contribute to your competitive cost and service advantage.

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This was first published in January 2012

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