The Raritan Blog

Data Center Efficiency: Taking the Low Hanging Fruit

Michael Bord
November 23, 2015

Many conversations about improving data center energy efficiency focus on new hardware and software.  But an often overlooked factor that could have a big impact is environmental management.  About a quarter of data center OPEX* goes to uncontrolled power and cooling costs.  And even modest changes to your cooling strategy could improve your bottom line.

Consider the practice of overcooling.  Many data centers lower the thermostat to keep mission critical equipment from overheating.  But several studies have found that overcooling is both costly and unnecessary. According to David J. Cappuccio, Gartner Managing VP and Chief of research:

“Data center managers can save up to 4 percent in energy costs for every degree of upward change in the baseline temperature, known as a set point. The higher set point means less frequent use of air conditioning, which saves the energy used to run cooling systems.”

Just this past year, data centers were urged to operate at a lower relative humidity to conserve energy.  And more recently, IT Business Edge’s Arthur Cole wrote that, “in the case of, say, poor cooling efficiency, it often comes down to something as simple as the kind of fan in your CRAC unit.”  Read more from Cole’s article here.  

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