Improvements in Data Center Management

IT operations are a crucial aspect of most organizational operations. It is necessary to provide a reliable infrastructure for IT operations, in order to minimize any chance of disruption. As the complexities of IT have grown, the demand for computing power has increased the electrical power required for data centers. According to an EPA report to congress, demand for data processing and storage is driven by several factors including the increased use of electronic transactions in financial services, the shift to electronic medical records for healthcare, the growth in global commerce and services, the adoption of satellite navigation and electronic shipment tracking in transportation, and the adoption of Smart Meters in Smart Grid applications. Today’s data centers account for 25% of the corporate IT budget for companies, and expanding data center requirements has driven a steady increase in energy consumption.

Historically, the main concern of data center operations has been to ensure availability, performance, security and resilience. Increased needs for storage have been met by simply by adding more servers and storage, increasing the necessary cooling and power distribution infrastructure and, if necessary, building out into more space or adding a new data center. As a result, data center operation has grown to be highly inefficient. Despite their immense energy consumption, non-virtualized server utilization rarely exceeds 6% and facility utilization can be as low as 50%. Data center emissions are expected to quadruple by 2020 – data center electricity consumption is almost 0.2% of world consumption. The power and cooling infrastructure that supports the IT equipment accounted for roughly 50% of the total energy consumption of data centers.

ScottMadden has developed an approach for analyzing data center requirements and driving improvements in existing data center retrofits. Our approach takes into account the technological requirements, the physical attributes of a data center, and the requirements for a rigorous measurement and verification program needed to ensure improvements actually capture the energy efficiently gains and the resultant greenhouse gas reductions.

Our approach addresses the latest trends in data center management such as virtualization and cloud computing and provide a framework for developing metrics needed to drive changes in data center performance.

Additional Contributing Authors: Jake Jacobi

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Contributing Authors

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