Look Beyond Your Servers When Measuring Your Data Center’s Power Usage

RJ Tee
February 18, 2015

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When it comes to measuring your data center’s power usage, your servers are a great place to start. After all, servers typically comprise the bulk of electricity consumption in a facility, with each one consuming between 400 and 500 watts on average.
It’s important to realize, however, that servers are only part of the equation when analyzing your data center’s overall power consumption. If you want to assess your facility’s true carbon footprint and reduce as many expenses as possible, it’s also critical to analyze every system that taps into your uninterruptible power supply.
Consider, for instance, your lighting system. Lights typically make up about 3 percent to 5 percent of a data center’s total energy consumption. So, if you can find ways to offset this cost (like by investing in green lighting solutions or even natural light if possible), the money can be invested back into your data center. You should also consider using lights that turn off automatically when nobody is in a room to avoid wasting energy.
Other parts of your data center that could be draining your IT budget include your heating and cooling systems as well as devices like switches and routers. It’s common for data centers to start adding devices without consideration of power limitations. That’s a big no-no, however, as every device that connects to your network will ultimately impact your bottom line. So, continually monitor the exact power consumption of each device in your data center, and then use that knowledge to reduce or eliminate waste to cut electricity costs.
Server Technology is one provider of data center power monitoring software that can help you gain the visibility you need into your electricity usage as a whole. Its Sentry Power Manager centralizes information as it streams in from multiple power distribution units, providing a complete look at the data center’s energy load in real time. Click here for more information about how Server Technology can help you save money in your data center.  
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