As energy prices rise, many Wisconsin companies are looking for ways to curb runaway energy consumption in their information technology (IT) departments. Many solutions are available to improve IT and data center energy efficiency while improving system reliability and boosting your bottom line.
Manage your PC power
PCs and monitors often represent more than 40 percent of the total IT energy consumed. Upgrading PCs and replacing CRT monitors with LCD monitors can significantly reduce the amount of energy you use.
Thin-client conversion. The goal of this solution is to replace a desktop computer that may consume over 200 watts with a thin-client machine that may consume as little as 5 watts. To achieve this, the workload of your computer will need to be moved into the server room with a thin-client computing or desktop virtualization solution.
Serve your servers
In the August 2007 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report to Congress, it was estimated that total electricity costs in 2006 for the nation’s servers and data centers was about $4.5 billion. Even more startling is that the volume server was responsible for the majority (68 percent) of the electricity consumed.
Server virtualization is a software solution that allows multiple physical servers to be "transformed" into software. Instead of using a separate physical server for each application—each with its own power-hungry CPU, RAM, hard disk, and network controller— multiple machines can be linked together so that one server does the work of many. This way, numerous servers which are each underutilized can be reduced to a much smaller number of fully utilized machines. Since a single underutilized server uses almost as much electricity as a server running many virtual machines, energy use can be substantially reduced.
ENERGY STAR© qualified enterprise servers
The Environmental Protection Agency has developed new product specifications for enterprise servers. The new qualification will allow consumers to easily differentiate energy-efficient equipment. On average, computer servers that earn the ENERGY STAR will be 30 percent more energy efficient than standard servers. For the latest information on the new specifications, visit energystar.gov.
Supporting equipment solutions
Energize your other IT & support equipment
Consider all the equipment that makes your IT systems and data center possible. Lighting, HVAC, uninterruptible power supply, and power distribution units are just a few of the key components that consume energy.
Chillers and computer-room air conditioners (CRAC units) often represent more than 25 percent of a data center's electric load. After first reducing your electric load by one or more of the IT energy efficiency measures, your facility's cooling needs may be substantially less, enabling the shutdown of one or more cooling units.
Supplying a highly reliable source of electricity to data-center equipment itself consumes substantial amounts of energy. Uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs), transformers, inverters, and other power distribution units (PDUs) often consume over 10 percent of a data center's total energy needs. Energy-efficient UPS devices, converting to DC power delivery, and other measures, can substantially improve efficiency.
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