Creating sustainable, energy efficient data centers can be challenging especially when demand is growing at such a rapid rate. However, this past January the federal government is doing its’ share in setting goals to reduce federal agency data center usage by passing the Energy Efficient Government Technology Act (HR 306). The hope is by the year 2020 more than $5 billion will be saved in energy costs. The Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory 2016 report finds that close to 2% of energy usage is consumed by data centers. They intend to evaluate what IT best practices the federal government is adopting as well as considering additional “green” initiatives that, no doubt, would be good for the planet.
Best practices for agencies to meet the goals of the Energy Efficient Government Technology Act such as seen below will set the stage for them to be on par with the public sector.
- Move activities to the public cloud if possible
- Incorporate infrastructure components that help increase density and reduce power (helium storage & SMR drives)
- Utilize technology that measures energy usage and limits power until needed
- Move away from hierarchical leaf and spine switches to optical switches
- Deploy object storage solutions for massive-scale data
In addition to the changes of federal government agencies, there are other go green initiatives that can be considered for energy conservation within all data centers. For instance, installing variable-frequency drives (VFDs) on air-cooled chillers, employing cold/hot aisle containment and use rack blanking panels can make a huge difference. Even things such as updating PCs, efficient lighting, shutting down compressors on cool days and use the outside air for circulation can add up to big savings in the long run. Read full article here.