3 Tools to unleash the power capacity in a Data Center

CIOReview Team | Monday, 06 March 2017, 10:50 IST

India is witnessing a strong growth in data center operations owing to the strong demand for Information Technology (IT) services both domestically and internationally. Increasing users and the proliferation of data and cloud is putting pressure on the existing data centers to adapt to the ever changing business needs. According to Gartner Inc., the Indian data center infrastructure market will total $2 billion in 2016, a 5.2 percent increase from 2015. Despite the evolution and advancement of the data center technologies, the concerns surrounding power requirements and cooling needs, which were there in the beginning, are still present.

Data centers and IT labs everywhere are approaching operational capacity limits. Power resources are increasingly constrained and the cost of energy is spiraling out of control. You need to know how much power you are using, how much is available and where you can improve efficiency.There are tools that can help monitor the data center facility and measures efficiency on a real-time basis.

Some of the Tools that Data Center Managers Can Use are:

Intelligent PDUs: Rack PDUs and inline meters offer you accurate information with billing-grade, real-time kWh data, as well as current, voltage, active power and apparent power. Managers can choose the model that perfectly meets the specifications from the industry’s widest selection: Outlet metered/outlet switched; outlet metered; unit metered/outlet switched; unit metered PDUs; inline meters.

There are both single-phase and three-phase iPDUs that support data center equipment. Three-phase power to the cabinet is trending in data centers worldwide because of its success in reducing costs by eliminating unnecessary voltage transformations and line transmission loss. Three-phase power designs are helping data centers of all sizes, including hyper scale ones like LinkedIn’s data centers that have scaled to support its growing user base – now about 433 million users worldwide.

Environment Sensors: The ability to track humidity, temperature, contact closure, air pressure and airflow is critical to efficient power management in a data center. Environment sensors enable data center managers to ensure uptime by monitoring racks for potential hot spots; save on cooling by con´Čüdently raising data center temperatures; maintain cabinet security with contact closure sensors; improve data center availability by receiving environment alerts; make strategic decisions on cooling design and containment; and set thresholds and alerts to monitor onsite or remote facilities. Sensors can save you up to 4 percent in energy costs for every degree of upward change in the baseline temperature, known as a set point.

Power Management Software: Energy management softwares offer vendor-agnostic centralized power monitoring with features like agentless, graceful OS shutdown, outlet control and thermal and energy analytics. It also provides kWh per rack usage and energy costs per customer, department or application, line loads for balancing capacities, rack inlet temperatures and even carbon footprint. Such softwares help to identify potential trouble areas, save energy, and maintain a safe environment for your IT equipment.

Increasing the efficiency of the power management systems will help to keep a lid on energy costs, one of the highest overheads in a data center. India’s sustainable growth is being challenged by increased energy consumption from the data centers and the above tools will go a long way in helping to improve the efficiency of data centers. Power management tools help the data center manager to know how much power is being used at a moment’s notice, use power more efficiently, improve server uptime and reliability, allow higher rack densities and reduce costs and efforts. Saving energy should be the recurrent mantra for data center managers.