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Scaling Back Your Data Center? Don’t Forget to Do This

Posted by RJ Tee on May 12, 2017 12:09:48 PM

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Data centers are quickly disappearing, explains a new report from IDC.

According to the report, data centers across the world are dropping in numbers and in square footage annually. In 2015, there were 8.55 million data centers in the world. By the end of 2017, this figure will drop to at least 8.4 million. And by 2021, there will only be about 7.2 million data centers — a total reduction of 15 percent from 2015. 

Why is this happening?

Organizations — especially the federal government — are now consolidating their facilities in an effort to reduce operating costs and become greener. Plus, businesses are now renting an increasing amount of server power from third party providers. And the vast majority are turning to hosted or hybrid cloud services.

Government data center?  Moving to a colo? Check out our solutions pages for useful resources.

So if your business is dismantling or consolidating its data centers, then rest assured you are not alone. This is becoming a very popular trend, and it shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. In fact, we will only see the trend accelerate in the coming years and so your business is definitely ahead of the curve.

But is success guaranteed? Now that is another story.

Whether you are switching to a hosted cloud provider like AWS, consolidating multiple servers into a single facility or just looking to reduce your data load entirely, you still need to keep a close watch on power management. Otherwise, your cost-saving experiment could wind up doing more harm than good.

Server Technology has a wide range of high-quality power management tools like intelligent PDUs and the Sentry Power Manager (SPM) platform to help guide your data center consolidation strategy.

Ready To Learn More?

Topics: consolidation, data center consolidation

Consolidating Your Data Centers? Focus on Power Management

Posted by Erik Stabile on Sep 19, 2016 9:16:12 AM

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The U.S. Department of Defense is currently consolidating and closing hundreds of data centers, in an effort to reduce overall IT-related operating expenses.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the agency is also rationalizing its applications and systems portfolios as it prepares to migrate workloads into core and enterprise data centers.

The overhaul is part of the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative, a plan implemented in 2010 to reduce hardware, software and operations costs within federal data centers. The initiative also mandates agencies integrate efficient computing platforms, increase security measures and use more green IT solutions.

What’s more, the DoD has an internal target goal to close 60 percent of its data centers by 2018. At the end of 2015, only 18 percent were closed. And last year, its budget exceeded $36 billion.

So will the consolidation effort actually result in cost savings for the agency?

In the short term, consolidation should help. By strategically closing certain facilities and eliminating some of its servers, it’s to be expected that the DoD will immediately slash costs and reduce waste.

To achieve significant long term  IT cost savings, however, it will require one major component: Comprehensive, real-time and historical power usage data for each data center cabinet.

Here’s why:

The DoD is a massive department. Its scope expands well beyond the walls of the Pentagon. As the DoD explained in a report, if the agency were a corporation it would be at the top of the Fortune 100. The DoD is in charge of overseeing 1.3 million active military personnel, as well as 742,000 civilian personnel. Plus, it has 826,000 members in the National Guard and Reserve forces. In fact, it’s one of the largest employers in the U.S.

“DoD also manages an inventory of installations and facilities, and its physical plant is vast by any standard, comprising more than several hundred thousand individual buildings and structures located at more than 5,000 different locations or sites,” the report explained. “When all sites are added together, the Department utilizes over 30 million acres of land.”

This is an organization, in other words, with tens of thousands of servers and millions of computers. And over the next few years, the DoD – like every other organization – will be experiencing a massive influx of data and devices. So while its footprint may be shrinking, it’s still important to monitor server  workloads on a regular basis. If left unchecked, data center operations could easily spiral out of control again within the next decade – completely negating its current effort to scale down operations.

The DoD – as well as any organization that is looking to reduce costs and improve efficiencies – should strongly consider implementing solutions for tracking and measuring data center power usage.

Server Technology can help with this initiative.

Server Technology’s smart and switched power distribution units (PDU) contain Per Outlet Power Sensing (POPS) technology. These devices can provide detailed feedback on metrics like voltage, power (kW), apparent power, crest factor and power factor.

When used in conjunction with Server Technology’s Sentry Power Manager (SPM) solution, data center operators can effectively track and measure power usage over time.

It’s the most precise solution on the market for aligning long term power reduction goals with actual daily electrical outputs.

For more information, click here.

Topics: data center consolidation, data center power management, government consolidation

Why The Super Bowl is A Model for Data Center Consolidation Perfection

Posted by Erik Stabile on Jan 28, 2016 2:13:31 PM

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The Super Bowl continues to be one of the most watched television events in history, year after year. In fact, last year’s game where the New England Patriots took on the Seattle Seahawks became the No. 1 most watched televised event ever with an astounding 114.4 million viewers.

And while you might be thinking about the outrageous strain on bandwidth—and thereby power consumption—required to broadcast this live event to televisions across the nation, the Super Bowl is actually one of the most energy efficient live broadcasted events. Here’s why…

Football fans host Super Bowl parties, where friends and family unite under one roof to watch the game together. That means a group of 20 people are viewing one television, rather than 20 separate ones. As well, the party guests mostly likely shut off the lights and unplugged unnecessary appliances at their own homes before heading out to the party, thereby saving energy in that regard.

As such, the event becomes more efficient in that viewers are optimizing their resources, i.e. consolidating their cable and electricity usage, by sharing one television. The result is a major energy-saving touchdown.

So, take a page from football fans’ books and model your data center power infrastructure strategy after a Super Bowl party. That is, rather than running multiple servers at a quarter of their potential power, consolidate your workloads to maximize your power capacity. For example, server virtualization enables you to partition physical servers into smaller ones to maximize your resources. Rather than dedicate each of your servers to one task, share the workloads—just as football fans share their televisions—in order to optimize efficiency.

With that said, there are environmental and safety precautions that must be considered before employing a virtual environment. Without advanced power monitoring and measuring technology you run the risk of over-heating servers that are running at maximum capacity. As well, tracking the power consumption of servers is essential to ensuring that virtualization is running correctly and truly proving to be an energy and cost efficient strategy. Consider implementing an All-in-1 PDU solution which affords the power measurement and management tools necessary for running a successful operation.

Consolidating your power consumption is vital to the stability of your data center. But once you’ve implemented a sound consolidation strategy, the results will make you want to break out into your very own touchdown dance.

Topics: power density, data center consolidation, all-in-1 pdu

Dilbert’s Top 5 Lessons for the Data Center: Number Three

Posted by Calvin Nicholson on Jun 9, 2015 8:16:00 AM

Dilbert Lessons for the data center is a five part series. Check back for more! 

Number 3) Data Center consolidation saves huge amounts of money in the long term and is driving a lot of data center spending right now

  • These projects are being driven by security concerns, company growth, disaster recovery, cost savings, aging facilities, mergers, etc.
  • The list of cost-cutting opportunities is nearly endless: power, cooling, maintenance, physical space, licensing, etc. 
  • Great time to also look for a location that can provide alternate power sources like (wind, solar, and geothermal) to reduce or eliminate your carbon foot print.
  • Power selection can increase efficiency including 3-Phase 400V power solutions (230 or 240V to the device) to reduce conversion losses and heating.
  • Updating facilities with more efficient servers also reduces costs greatly.
  • Increasing the data center’s operating temperature and looking at alternative cooling solutions like free cooling can greatly reduce costs as well.

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Number Two

 

Topics: data center consolidation

Dilbert’s Top 5 Lessons for the Data Center: Number Four

Posted by Calvin Nicholson on Jun 5, 2015 7:00:00 AM

Dilbert Lessons for the data center is a five part series. Check back for more! 

Number 4) There is a lot of value in server virtualization and consolidation projects:

  • This is a great time to update the cabinet or cabinet PDU at the same time to leverage new functionality and features.
  • Though a PDU is part of the critical physical infrastructure it cannot last forever especially as hot aisle temperatures continue to rise.
  • Great time to also look at 3-Phase 400V power solutions (230 or 240V to the device) as another way to increase efficiency in your data center.
  • If you go 3-Phase then an alternating phase PDU will greatly reduce the length of the required power cords and increase air flow within your cabinet.
  • Existing POPS PDU’s combined with software tools easily allow the user to determine which servers are zombies and which are actually doing useful work.
  • Also a great time to update to new servers with more efficient power supplies for greater overall cost savings.

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Number Three

Topics: data center consolidation, server virtualization