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Design Mistakes that Impact Data Center Power Consumption
We live in a world where data is more precious than gold. Companies invest millions in the capture, archive and management of information that can be turned into business intelligence. As consumers, we provide the fuel for the fire by sharing our locations, our preferences, our buying behaviors and our desires. With so much information available, companies have to pay attention to anticipated data center power when designing the data center.
To that end, there are a number of different variables that can leave even the most innovative of data centers performing at less than optimal standards. Given that the average data center can cost millions in capital expenses, companies have a vested interest in ensuring the process doesn’t run over budget or schedule. When mistakes are made during this critical point, efficiency may be decreased, downtime increased and greater costs may be incurred in the operation.
A recent Data Center Journal report examined design mistakes that can happen that may lead to the unnecessary use of data center power. One common challenge occurs when one company tries to emulate that of another in data center design. Key decision makers fail to recognize that what works well in one environment may be missing the mark entirely in another. The company’s needs and available resources have to be considered, as well as budget, industry practices and current regulations.
In the overall design of today’s data center, there is significant overlap between electrical and mechanical. One part of the design that tends to be overlooked is the attention to data center power. Companies continue to try and stuff more computing power into smaller volumes, which can cause higher operating costs due to the created hot spots. These hot spots hamper cooling efficiency and therefore, stress cooling equipment and power consumption. At the same time, it creates cooler than necessary temperatures in other parts of the data center.
To overcome these challenges, the data center design needs to focus on spreading the power load as much as possible so as to avoid the creation of high-density zones. This ensures hot spots are not inadvertently created, cooling efficiency is realized and overall cooling costs are reduced. Likewise, if uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs) are in use, the system should be designed to maximize the load factor to achieve optimal efficiency over time.
Thinking ahead is key in the design of the data center where data center power consumption is critical. Efficiency for the long-term not only keeps costs down, it also protects equipment and optimizes performance. In the end, the company gains the benefit it wants from the data center without draining resources.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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