The Raritan Blog

What Happens When Energy Consumption Leads To Unnecessary Spending?

Jessica Ciesla
January 8, 2019

Did you know that data centers represent an impressive 1.8 percent of the total energy consumption within the United States? As anyone knows, energy consumption is expensive. The challenge for many data centers is that future energy usage is expected to continue to increase (as will their respective costs). This challenge is further escalated by the fact that many data centers are ineffectively using what energy resources they do have.

Understanding The Challenge 

To create a viable solution for this client, we needed to first understand the challenge facing them at their collocation data centers. 

1.    The client was quite literally throwing money out of the window via ineffective energy use. 
2.    The client wanted to understand real world scenarios that could contribute to further energy loss and money spent. 
3.    The client needed repeatable processes to measure energy more efficiently, and thus create process improvements.

Creating An Effective Solution

PUE has long been the baseline measurement for real world scenarios. The key to our solution was to implement repeatable processes that would not only measure energy efficiency, but also provide the insights needed to control (and inevitably reduce) energy consumption and the associated costs. To do this, we implemented a three step process: 

1.    Measure the key areas of energy consumption. 
2.    Gather in-depth insights into why the energy is being consumed at those levels. 
3.    Determine how to reduce unnecessary energy consumption. 

The answer to the third step of the process was going back to the basics with environmental monitoring. Through T/M/B front and back monitoring at the rack level, we are able to take consistent measurements that make it far easier to detect abnormal conditions. Next, we utilized the maximum number of Free Cooling days to achieve a quick payback for the client. Finally, we determined that real time monitoring of a rack environment is necessary if the client's systems were to work in the ways that they expected. 

The Result: Enhanced Environmental Monitoring To Reduce Unnecessary Spending

Through real time environmental monitoring, we were able to identify the "where, when, why, and how" of ineffective energy use. These vital insights allowed us to offer quick payback opportunities to the business. Enhanced environmental monitoring also created the basis for improved reliability, increased redundancy, and properly utilized capacity, so that effective energy consumption was achieved and unnecessary spending was readily reduced. 

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