Computers and technology within a data center inherently create a lot of waste. Though companies are trying to find ways to reduce the amount of waste and be more energy efficient, it’s not always being practiced as much as we would like. While companies like Google are doing their best to be on top of the energy waste created by cooling systems, smaller data centers are actually leaving a bigger carbon footprint due to inefficient cooling. How do you know if your data center falls into this category, and what can you do to make less waste?
Evaluate Your Current Cooling System
Cooling systems are important, there’s no question about that. If the temperature inside a data center isn’t maintained, it can really damage equipment, causing a lot of problems for the company. Despite this, many companies are still not using their cooling systems properly. Think of it as almost like having an air conditioner in the bathroom of your house. It can cool things down, but not really in the way you need it to, hence wasting a lot of energy. Is it time to update your cooling system, or do you just need to learn more about using it properly?
Understand Your Energy Intake
The problem with inefficient cooling in small data centers is that no one really knows the amount of energy being used. If you want to reduce your footprint, then it’s imperative to know this information about your company. Guaranteed, once you see your energy bill, you’ll start to understand where you need to cut the costs.
Prioritize Your Efficiency
So, we all know that trying to save money on your cooling system might not be your top priority now, but we recommend making it so. After you’ve looked at your energy costs, it’s time to see whether or not you are overcooling your data center. Saving money and being more efficient has a lot to do with investing in resources that can help you make the improvements you need, or getting educated about air management. Have a staff meeting and see if this can fit into your budget. You might be surprised at what it can save you in the long run.
Separate Hot and Cool Airflow
This might involve rearranging the furniture in your data center, or even just opening up the windows every so often. Have a clear system for dealing with and monitoring proper airflow through the room, so that hot air and cool air don’t mix, thus requiring you to pump more cool air from your cooling system. Make sure the machines you’re using are properly contained, but have sufficient space to bring in just the cold air.
Care About Energy Waste
This might seem obvious, but most data centers care more about reliability than energy efficiency. We all have a general idea about why limiting our energy waste is important, but many of us don’t know the real impact of what we’re doing. It’s important to not only see how much you are spending on energy costs, but also educate yourself about what your small data center is doing to the environment. Seeing the direct impact of your data center on the world around it might really inspire you (and hopefully others) to put the time into making a change.
If huge companies like Google and Facebook are able to reduce their energy more than data centers that are much smaller in size, then surely we all have a responsibility to limit our use. This can all start with managing your cooling system better. Do the right thing!