Data center virtualization and energy-efficiency guide

Managing an energy-efficient, green data center may seem like a lot to handle, but this guide provides the expertise necessary for saving money and reducing power consumption.

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Reduce cooling costs with energy-efficient data centers
Data center cooling methods and guidelines
Data center virtualization and management
More data center virtualization and energy-efficiency resources

Many factors need to be taken into consideration when planning and designing a data center. How do you virtualize your clients' data centers while complying with energy-efficient standards? Can you keep server rooms cool on a low budget? This guide explains the proper techniques for maintaining energy-efficient data centers. Data center experts also discuss different methods for greening your clients' data centers, including server and data center consolidation, power management and cooling techniques.

Reduce cooling costs with energy-efficient data centers
Learning from the experts when attempting to create an energy-efficient data center makes the process run much smoother. This section focuses on the steps that are crucial when you transition to a green data center. Limiting data center energy consumption not only increases productivity, but also saves your clients' money in the long run.

Data center efficiency: Which tactics are worth the cost
There are a variety of methods that you can use to improve cost efficiency in your customers' data centers, but you need to decide which options offer short-term and long-term value. Raising the data center temperature will ease the air conditioning equipment's workload, which reduces energy consumption. You can also use a simple plastic curtain for hot-aisle/cold-aisle containment to help with air conditioner efficiency. But other data center efficiency tactics such as high-efficiency server power supplies may not provide your customers with immediate savings.

Measuring green data center energy efficiency
Ensuring your customers have an energy efficient data center requires you to measure energy usage, carbon emissions and heat waste. These measurements will help determine if a green data center is functioning properly is and calculate the effects of any data center upgrades that may have occurred.

Customize data center cooling design for increased energy efficiency
Implementing customized equipment that fits your customers' data centers will help maximize efficiency and operating costs. There are obvious benefits to custom data center cooling design, such as reducing power consumption. But being able to control the air temperature at the inlets of the server racks is an important advantage as well.

Is the data center efficiency crisis over?
Data center efficiency trends are constantly evolving, and solutions providers need to keep a close watch on potential business opportunities. Taking advantage of PUE can be critical to boosting business, because it measures the effectiveness of power-saving updates in your customers' data centers are -- and how much money they are saving. There are other strategies to consider as well, including hardening your customers' servers.

Designing data centers for energy efficiency
This chapter excerpt from Green IT: Reduce Your Information System's Environmental Impact While Adding to the Bottom Line shows you the best practices for designing an energy-efficient data center. Authors Toby J. Velte, Anthony T. Velte and Robert Elsenpeter explain the importance of floor layout and rightsizing the physical infrastructure. It also explains why you should upgrade to energy-efficient servers and the benefits of using server consolidation for energy efficiency.

How to create an energy-efficient data center
The top approaches to transitioning to a data center with efficiency in mind can be found in this chapter download taken from Greg Schulz's The Green and Virtual Data Center. Schulz discusses how to improve power usage and meet environmental regulations by using cooling methods and modifying application performance. Virtualization is described as one of the most popular means for consolidating and eliminating underutilized servers and storage.

Data center cost containment FAQ
Are you unsure about the different aspects of data center cost containment? This FAQ has information on the process and methods for data center cost containment. Data center experts from PlanNet Consulting explain how to maximize cost efficiency while maintaining a cool and energy-efficient data center. They also cover topics such as power usage effectiveness and building or upgrading an in-house data center versus moving to a colocation or hosted facility.

Data center consolidation management
Are you worried about consolidating your data center in the current economy? This interview with Erin Sanders, data center services expert at Acumen Solutions Inc., answers your questions as she details the different aspects of data center consolidation management. See what she has to say about the role solutions providers play in data center consolidation and when consolidation might not be necessary.

Cutting data center power consumption isn't enough, report says
A Forrester Research Inc. report has found that data centers aren't solely to blame for consumption issues. Check out the results of its survey on power consumption inside data centers. See the statistics that analyst Doug Washburn came up with after surveying 308 hardware decision-makers at North American and European businesses.

Data center cooling methods and guidelines
These resources explain the basics of data center cooling projects and the best techniques for data center design. Contrary to belief, mixing hot and cold air to cool blade servers is exactly the wrong approach for reducing costs and energy. Find out why keeping your clients' server rooms cool is key to maintaining an efficient data center, how liquid cooling can help save money and all about the methods available for different sized rooms and blade server types.

Invest in energy-efficient power and cooling for data center ROI
Server utilization, data density and power usage effectiveness (PUE) are some of the major factors to consider when explaining data center efficiency and cooling options to your customers. A major factor in customers' return on investment is their server utilization rates. A high utilization rate can warrant adding capacity, and a low rate can require consolidation. Increasing density can help lessen square footage requirements and increase energy-efficient power. PUE is an important concept to keep in mind when finding out how much of an effect a power-saving technology has.

Data center and IT server room cooling guidelines
Overheating in your data center is a disastrous scenario, but if you follow these cooling guidelines, you'll avoid this problem with your clients. When a designing a server room or data center, you need to have a cooling plan that is cost effective and able to accommodate changes in cooling best practices using energy-efficient standards.

Best techniques for cooling blade servers
This article tells you how to cool blade servers from the ground up . Compare various techniques, such as mixing hot air and cool air versus concentrating cool air using computational fluid dynamics and in-row cooling. Engineers also explain how infrastructure design is crucial to the process and the benefits of using water cooling.

Data center virtualization and management
Managing clients' data centers while preparing for virtualization technology is something many solutions providers are trying to handle. Take a look at what these experts have to say about achieving an efficient, green and virtualized data center while staying within clients' budgets. Become an expert in the best practices for data center management and on the various data center virtualization and management tools available. It's a great way to win new business.

Using virtualization to achieve green data centers
This interview with Toby J. Velte, data center expert and author of Green IT: Reduce Your Information System's Environmental Impact While Adding to the Bottom Line, gives you a better understanding of how virtualization comes into play when you're trying to design and maintain a green data center. Take a look at the benefits of virtualization as well as some possible obstacles. Also, see how cloud computing is involved in green data center virtualization.

Top four server virtualization enhancements for efficiency gains
Virtualizing your clients' servers doesn't need to be an expensive undertaking. There are four key server virtualization enhancements you can make that can save money, drive efficiency and reduce waste. Using assessment tools such as Tek-Tool's Profiler for VMware or Akorri's Balance Point is essential at the beginning stages of a data center virtualization project.

VMware Virtual Datacenter OS aims for enterprise data center space
This tip explores VMware's Virtual Datacenter Operating System (VDC-OS) and the enhancements and capabilities that come with it. VMware is stressing its VMotion and vLockstep technology for providing true fault tolerance without the expense of specialty fault-tolerant systems or the complexity of software clustering. Find out why cloud computing is at the top of VMware's VDC-OS agenda.

Microsoft System Center handles data center management
You can look to Microsoft System Center for data center management best practices. Some challenges that come along with data center management are presented as well as the features and highlights of System Center. These features include managing tools, such as System Center Configuration Manager 2007, which can offer assistance in deployment and software distribution.

More data center virtualization and energy-efficiency resources

Increase energy efficiency with virtualization
Data center knowledge: Data centers, design, power, cooling
Saving energy in data centers
Data center virtualization blog
Cisco and partners to accelerate data center virtualization

This was first published in August 2010

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