3 tips to cut growing power and cooling costs

As data centers grow, the energy required to power them takes up a bigger chunk of companies’ profits. Here’s some advice on how IT can lower its energy costs. 

A 2011 study conducted by Stanford University found that data centers made up 2% of all U.S. electricity consumption in 2010 — a jump of 250% compared to 2000.

That’s a lot of energy being used to power and cool data centers, and it’s a big expense for businesses.

However, the Alliance to Save Energy estimates those costs can be cut by up to 89% by using new server technology as well as taking advantage of cloud services. These are some of the options the nonprofit group recommends:

  1. Data center configuration — IT departments can sometimes cut cooling costs just by improving how their server rooms are set up — for example by making sure air flow isn’t blocked or using outside air for cooling during parts of the year.
  2. Onsite power generation — Some businesses have begun generating their own power, through the use of solar panels, wind generators and other tools, and may use that electricity to power their data centers.
  3. Waste heat recovery — Data centers generate a lot of heat, and keeping them cool is a big expense. But some businesses have found ways to capture that heat to make use of it.

Read more about cutting energy costs on the Alliance to Save Energy’s webiste.

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