In ‘Google’s Green Data Centers: Network POP Case Study’ the company describes the cost-saving measures that the company has employed in its “Points of Presence” (POPs) - networking rooms similar to small and medium-sized data centres. The case study describes the retrofit of one of these ‘smaller’ rooms (compared with the company’s huge proprietary data centres), describing best practices and simple changes that you can improve the PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness - which compares overall power use with that used by IT equipment) and save on energy costs.
The basic requirement was that they had to work with what was already in the room, with no significant capital investment, and the room had to stay operational throughout.
The actions taken are detailed in the case study, but it boiled down to seven specific changes:
1. Added temperature monitoring
2. Optimised air vent tiles to minimise hot spots
3. Increased temperature and relative humidity settings on CRACs
4. Blocked off the ends of cold aisles with curtains
5. Put blanking plates and side panels to block cold air passing through empty rack spaces
6. Added 48” extensions to all CRAC (Computer Room Air Conditioners) air returns
7. Added a new CRAC controller
But the most impressive aspect is the impact on PUE and the savings and ROI achieved:
Is there any excuse for NOT employing these techniques in your data centre? It makes good business sense and it helps save the world (or the other way round, depending on your priorities).