data cabinetsThe best data centers function with a delicate balance of power and efficiency. As an IT manager, it is your job to make sure that your company’s data cabinets are serving their full purpose with the least amount of energy intake. If you have noticed a sudden spike in energy bills, or are generally concerned about the center’s efficiency, test the following variables.

  1. Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Monitoring your emissions is a great way to test the carbon footprint of your server racks. If an energy audit reveals that your facility is burning a high amount of fuel, either consider alternative methods or search for points for improvement.
  2. Electricity Use: While there are simple ways to save energy in other departments of your organization, such as turning off electronics, it is not as simple in a data center. Your data racks are running all the time, so check to see if you are using more energy than you could be.
  3. Air Leakage: If your energy use numbers are running high, inspect your data cabinets for air leaks. If cold air is passing into your hot aisles, and vice versa, the air is not being used efficiently. Seal any leaks and continue to monitor in the future.
  4. Diffuser Positioning: Check to see if your air diffusers are pointed in the right direction. If they are missing key areas of your data center, certain spots may overheat while others receive too much cool are. Balance is important for your airflow management.
  5. Equipment Obstructions: Bunched up cables and empty racks could be blocking air from flowing to key areas. Position these items so air is moving freely. If you notice several obstructions, reconsider your cable management strategy and data center layout.

While energy efficiency takes effort to achieve, your commitment will pay off in the future, both for your company’s budget and the environment. As electricity prices and carbon levy is predicted to increase by 67% in the next three years, making your cooling system more efficient could reduce this cost by up to 35%. Stay ahead of these hikes by working with a professional to perform an energy audit and seek improvements.