Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Bleak View from Gartner on Energy Expenditures for Data Center

Data Center Journal discusses Gartner’s view of energy costs for data centers continuing to rise rather than decrease in 2010.

Do not lose hope – there are some essential questions you can ask in order to meet the challenges of rising costs. For example:

“Do you have any pragmatic tips for helping me to cut my data center costs?

R: Gartner has several suggestions:

- Rationalize the Hardware. This involves taking out those systems that are underutilized or old, or where the workload can be run on more efficient hardware. Gartner clients have reported that rationalization and consolidation programs have resulted in 5 per cent to 20 per cent fewer servers being deployed.

- Consolidate Data-Center Sites. Consolidating multiple sites into a smaller number of larger sites will often result in financial savings.

- Manage Energy and Facilities Costs. Tools and techniques for managing the energy cost curve include: raising the temperature of the data center to around 24 degrees Celsius, which reduces the level of cooling required; using outside air as an alternative to air conditioning where possible; using hot aisle/cold aisle configurations, blanking and economizers; and using server based energy management software tools to run workloads in the most energy efficient way.

- Manage the People Costs. People costs still form the single largest cost element for most data centers, sometimes as much as 40 per cent of overall costs.

- Sweat the Assets. Delaying the procurement of new assets is a necessary step for all data center managers, especially as a server's useful life often exceeds its amortized life.”

Good to at least have the realistic heads-up on what the upcoming year holds, without illusions.

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