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Ways To Measure Data Center Energy Efficiency

The modern day evolving IT landscape have compelled most IT enterprises to deploy useful methods for resource optimization, minimize IT budgets and reduce the incidental expenses related to data center expansions. For this, it is crucial that data center managers concentrate on setting up efficient operating environments to assist data center functions. There are numerous ways by which organizations today can gain data center efficiency. Some of them comprise of maximizing the computing densities and making effective use of the outside air. The most critical component however here is to maintain a simple comprehensible metric that helps to assess and understand the data center efficiency and the ways the improvement can be brought about.

Data center Efficiency & the Way to Measure It

One of the best ways for measuring data center efficiency is PUE, i.e. power usage effectiveness. It is estimated by considering the total power consumption by a certain data center facility and then by dividing it by the power consumed by the devices. The ratio of the outcome offers the effective power overhead for a single unit of IT hold. The majority of data center managers today to look for ways to minimize the PUE that would help in better data center expansion.

An appropriate way for data center expansion would be by joining hands with a data center solution provider that will in turn help the company to be free from all the hassles of creating and monitoring critical mission IT infrastructure. Modern day data centers cater to diverse user needs for shared hosting and dedicated hosting, back up solutions, business continuity disaster recovery, colocation services and network penetration testing. Furthermore, advanced solutions today make sure that the end users are safe and well supported 24 x 7 with high-end facilities that are accompanied by industry leading SLAs.

In addition to that, today there are service providers specializing in cloud computing services that have come up with ways to enhance data center efficiency. They are:

Bringing down the power that is consumed to support infrastructure
Reducing the losses within a power system

By following the above mentioned methods, one can be certain that the higher power entering the data center would make it to the IT load. This further helps to enhance the data center efficiency and bring down the PUE. It is also important for an enterprise to minimize the power system losses and the power consumed by infrastructure assistance. This apart, it is evident that the huge power consumption within the data center would get shifted to the IT load. Provided the organizations are able to lose the IT load then it will be able to bring down the overall power needed in the data center automatically.

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Smart Buildings – More Than Just Energy Efficiency

The smartest people in the commercial real estate industry agree–if we really got energy efficiency in buildings right using smart building technologies, corporations could save so much money that there would be little need for solar panels or windmills. While most experts are still strong supporters of these alternative energy sources, they agree that extreme energy efficiency measures could have very dramatic positive results.

On the other hand, there are an increasing number of people who are growing disenchanted with the energy efficiency movement. It is not that they are against the idea, it just seems like it is an “all or nothing” proposition, and one of the major aspects of smart building technologies is the impact they can have on OPERATIONS and TENANT SAFETY/SATISFACTION as well as energy efficiency–which solar panels and windmills don’t offer.
In our world of buildings, a world that impacts us every time we enter an office, mall, school or sporting venue, and an environment that requires a great degree of operational support, why totally ignore the operational benefits, financial and human productivity possibilities, and tenant safety/satisfaction potential of intelligent, connected, high performance smart buildings?

This new generation of smart buildings, in which an IT infrastructure is laid on top of a building and every electro-mechanical device is IP enabled and connected with the ability to send data and be controlled, can provide energy savings and a WHOLE LOT MORE. The concept of centralized portfolio control with dramatically reengineered workflow, combined with advanced data analytics and visualization, could have an equal (if not greater) impact on the operational and tenant satisfaction bottom line of a building when comparing energy efficiency and savings.

Building owners care a lot about the costs of running a building. If these state of the art concepts and technologies can significantly reduce operating costs, why not exploit that fact? These details should be included in the overall strategy when cost-justifying the retrofitting of existing buildings. It makes sense to look at every aspect of these intelligent and smart buildings. Go through the front door with energy efficiency but, by no means stop there; operational efficiency and tenant satisfaction will round out the complete justification for making smart building investments.

One small, yet interesting example of this approach would be the management of fire extinguishers. Despite more technology in an iPhone than we had on the first space launch, we continue each month to walk every square foot of our buildings in search of a fire extinguisher with a small paper card attached and a hole to punch. With some pretty basic smart building technology, we can connect those fire extinguishers to a network and monitor them in real time, with almost no future financial investment. This also has a good sustainability aspect, as we are not using natural resources to transport humans in their search for cards to punch.

Another area relevant to smart building technology with a very fast payback is digital signage. Despite the fact that the hardware and technology costs have become very competitive, we continue to rely on analog solutions to communicate information in our lobbies. If you look at the cost and process, with multiple people and methods of getting a tenant’s name up on a lobby sign, it is a very inefficient way to communicate tenant information. In addition to a simple tenant directory, digital signage can also offer advertising (potential revenues), and fire life safety information in the event of an emergency.

Many different areas of a building’s operations would benefit greatly from automation: HVAC, lighting, security/access, energy, fire/life/safety, lifts, water management, landscaping/irrigation, audio visual, digital signage, parking, voice/data and more.

If we truly want to take our buildings to the next level of sophistication and take advantage of all available technologies, then start thinking of the three categories that make a smart building–energy efficiency and conservation, operational efficiency, tenant safety and satisfaction. If we include all of these categories in our financial justification models, it becomes a much easier decision to retrofit and move our buildings into the 21st century.

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