Feature: How to cut energy costs at the node

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Feature: How to cut energy costs at the node
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But technology is only one part of the solution to power management.

Choosing a framework in which to implement it is a key challenge.

The number of options available is staggering to say the least – which is why many customers will likely look to system integrators and service providers to help them choose.

In simple terms, the options are power audits, standardised data centre efficiency measurements, all the way up to complete frameworks for implementation.

APC offers a five-step methodology that covers convening an IT and facility workshop to scope issues, a power audit, offering engineering and design input, creating a 3D simulation of the revamped facility and finally project management skills if needed.

“We actually take in thermal cameras to take images of the racks, do some computational fluid dynamics around the airflows in the racks, and look at rack configurations and layout with specific tools,” explained Makryllos.

Makryllos said the IT/FM workshop, site analysis and conceptual design would typically cost around $4000.

Eaton offers a similar though higher-end service. The ballpark cost is around $10,000 up to $20,000 for ‘a real in-depth audit of the facility’, explained Bolton.

“Our dedicated engineering services team will come out and take a look at the customer’s entire power chain and conduct a safety and efficiency audit,” said Bolton.

IT managers may also wish to use industry-standard data centre efficiency measures as part of such an audit. Examples include power usage effectiveness (PUE) and data centre infrastructure efficiency (DCIE).

Emerson has also created its own in-depth power management methodology called Energy Logic.

It’s a ‘vendor-neutral’ 10-step program of best practices that can be implemented individually or altogether, and lists anticipated kilowatt savings and return-on-investment upfront.

In conclusion, measuring the power draw of IT equipment is one of the key actions that can be taken to reduce power costs. The trend to socket-level measurement will not only provide accurate energy consumption data, but also a baseline to reduce electricity consumption and save money.
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