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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.