Data Centres use a vast amount of energy to keep them running; there are more than 250 data centres here in the UK which use more than 345MW of power. It may come as a surprise to you, but this amount of energy can actually power a city of 600,000 people. The cost of power is continuously rising with the ever-growing demand for energy. Here we tell you how to protect your data centre from energy prices.
Data Centre and Energy Prices
Most of the energy provided to data centres is formed from coal and other fossil fuels which are all harmful to the earth’s atmosphere and contribute to the vast increase in climate change.
Over 40% of businesses within the UK have noticed in the past couple of years their energy prices, and consumption has increased massively. According to Pulsant around a quarter of business also noticed their energy prices had shot up unexpectantly, which has normally been in line with the rising prices of energy for all energy suppliers.
Unfortunately, data centres hold a lot of pressure as there is a constant demand for information and data from these sites. They will also find their energy consumption increases when there is an increase in people using the network as well as communication equipment they may be added to the network.
Understanding where energy is wasted
A considerable amount of energy used within a data centre is based from electrical consumption which is normally around 40% of total energy consumption. The other is the cooling systems used to help cool the equipment to ensure they do not overheat.
Another thing which is often not recognised is the air flow systems which are put in place. There is a lot that goes into ensuring the right temperature is kept for rack spaced and can often be where there is massive consumption of energy.
Making Data Centres Smarter
Smart Energy Systems
Smart Energy Systems
Smart energy systems are becoming more and more important when it comes to data centres. We understand that a vast amount of data centres need to be cooled with consistent air conditioning and cooling systems. Not to mention the lighting systems that a put in place.
Removal of equipment
To help reduce your energy consumption any items of equipment that are not being used or are not being fully utilised then you may want to consider removing them from the data centre. It may come as a surprise to you but it is not always obvious in a large data centre, but around 10 to 30% of servers are normally dead or do not work to their full capacity. By simply removing or turning these pieces of equipment off can save you a vast amount of energy. It can also help to reduce the cost of your energy bills in the future.
Energy efficient hardware
Any improvement that can be made to any of the technology featured within our data centre will make a vast change to the energy consumption and cost. By looking at technology that is more energy efficient you could be looking at lower costs in regards to cooling systems, as most new hardware systems do not get as hot nor do they tend to overheat.
Changing the hardware can mean you can fit more servers per rack, while you may be thinking well are you not simply replacing and costing more in terms of energy? Well, with new hardware systems being so energy efficient it means that you can risk introducing more hardware and still notice by controlling the power and units you can again experience a reduction in energy demand.
Consider making your own energy
While solar panels may not provide you with all the energy you need to run a data centre, it can help towards your energy needs and demands. By installing solar panels onto the roof of your data centre, you may notice a small reduction in your energy price. During the summer months, this is even more beneficial as your demand for energy may be higher as cooling systems have to work hard or more need to be used.
Make sure that the physical layout of your data centre is working with you and not against you. Depending on the layout you could be using more energy within the centre, especially if you have cooling air and hot air close together. You may want to think about having a data centre upgrade, by doing so you could experience a change in the amount of energy needed to run it.
It is always a good idea to keep on top of your data centre energy consumption which is why we highly recommend measuring the amount of energy being used. If you notice a peak in the energy consumed by the building is it due to time of year? Or could there be a problem within the data centre that might be using more energy? It can also be a good indication as to whether you may have a piece of equipment which may be draining.
Any small changes that you make to your data centre will have an impact on the price of your business electricity energy bills. You may want to consider looking through the equipment that you have, as those that do not work to full capacity may be worth getting rid of. Servers alone consumer a considerable amount of energy, those that are not in use or are running but with small inputs may need removing to help with the pressures of increased energy consumption.
If you are thinking of making any changes to your data centre, we highly recommend getting in touch with a certified contractor. The reason for this is, it can be a somewhat tricky job removing pieces of equipment and is better left to the professionals as you could run the risk of damaging equipment.
If you are looking to make your data centre more eco-friendly, then you may want to look at energy providers who offer renewable energy plans.