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Data centre management: Optimising efficiency

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How do you optimise data centre efficiency?

You need to consider five areas: back-up, power, space, cooling, and software.

Back-up your systems and data

Bear in mind that data centres need lots of back-up, so that in the event of some unforeseen problem the centre can still function. This means back-up power, in case of a power cut, battery storage so that there is power while the back-up systems come into place, back-up cooling in case of failure, back up staff in case of sickness or unforeseen absence, and backup data storage.

Such back-up is vital, but can be expensive. It must be sufficient, but not be excessive.

Ensure you have power

Power is crucial to data centre efficiency. You need to ensure that nothing is taking power that is not essential. Remove servers that do not offer a useful service, make sure your servers are up to date, and do not use more than one machine when one can do the job efficiently. Make use of virtual machines to eliminate anything that is not necessary.

Gartner estimates that power accounts for around 10 per cent of the costs or running a data centre – so making efficient use of power is clearly a vital component.

Henrique Cecci, research director at Gartner says: “in most cases, improving IT equipment power usage can result in the greatest overall improvement in power usage efficiency.”

Power usage effectiveness or PEU is the metric by which this can be measured.

Create as much space as possible

Turning to the issue of space utilisation, server virtualisation may mean that a data centre is bigger than it needs to be, you need to factor this in. Look at employing modular design, making it easy to update the centre.

Keep things cool!

The data centre must be kept cool at all times. Install economizers that can pull cool air in from outside – this is especially advisable in areas where it can get quite cold outside, you might as well make the best of mother nature. Also, look to contain heat by employing isolation structures that can ensure heat generated is contained in certain areas.  Finally, you must guarantee that the air conditioning is efficient, well maintained and updated appropriately.

Management software is key

Data centre infrastructure management software can be an essential tool for managing and optimising efficiency.




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