This resource provides a general overview of the most commonly used energy efficiency strategies in data centers and server rooms. For each of the 12 opportunities listed below, we provide practical implementation considerations such as:
- How the strategy is implemented;
- How much its costs;
- How much it can save;
- Risks involved with implementation;
- Where to find additional information.
It is intended to help IT professionals, facility managers, energy managers, and sustainability coordinators identify and understand opportunities in existing data centers and server rooms.
For a summary of the 12 ways to save, download our 4-page brochure (PDF, 2.02 MB).
- 1. Server Virtualization
- 2. Decommissioning of Unused Servers
- 3. Consolidation of Lightly Utilized Servers
- 4. Better Management of Data Storage
- 5. Purchasing More Energy-Efficient Servers, UPSs, and PDUs
Airflow Management Strategies
- 6. Hot Aisle/Cold Aisle Layout
- 7. Containment/Enclosures
- 8. Variable Speed Fan Drives
- 9. Properly Deployed Airflow Management Devices
- 10. Server Inlet Temperature and Humidity Adjustments
- 11. Air-Side Economizer
- 12. Water-Side Economizer
- Case Studies. Learn how BNY Mellon (PDF, 600 KB), EBay (PDF, 578 KB), Exelon, NetApp, QTS, Raging Wire (PDF, 1.1 MB), Kaiser Permanente (PDF, 79KB) and Target (PDF, 609 KB) substantially reduced costs with a variety of data center energy efficiency measures.
- Low Carbon IT Champions. EPA ENERGY STAR recognized technical teams from BNY Mellon, RagingWire, and Target as "Low Carbon IT Champions" for the energy efficiency upgrades undertaken that led to ENERGY STAR building certification for their data center.
- New Data Center Facilities. The US Department of Energy (DOE) offers a Best Practices Guide for Energy-Efficient Data Center Design.
- Analysis Tools. DOE also offers a number of data center analysis tools and case studies.
- Training. DOE offers a Data Center Energy Practitioner training program, which qualifies professionals to identify and evaluate energy efficiency opportunities in data centers.
- Return on Investment (ROI) Studies. A number of case studies have closely examined the ROI for a variety of measures.
- The Green Grid’s Case Study: The ROI Of Cooling System Energy Efficiency Upgrades (PDF, 2 MB) examines installing variable speed fans, adding baffles and blanking panels, repositioning temperature/humidity sensors, and adjusting temperature setpoints with an ROI of less than 2 years.
- The Green Grid’s Chiller System Optimization: Project Impacts on Data Center Sustainability (PDF, 1.1 MB) examines the ROI of variable speed drives installed on 6 chiller pumps resulting in reduced pump speeds.
- Google’s Green Data Centers: Network POP Case Study (PDF, 3.6 MB) examines a small data center’s efforts at efficiency with optimized air vent tiles, temperature and humidity adjustments, cold aisle containment, and CRAC air return extensions that had an ROI of less than one year.
- Other guides on data center energy efficiency include:
- The European Code of Conduct for Energy Efficiency in Data Centres is a voluntary initiative that includes a comprehensive list of best practices needed to meet the code.
- Pacific Gas and Electric’s “Energy Efficiency Baselines for Data Centers” (PDF, 337 KB) establishes baseline levels for data center cooling and air flow management for their new construction incentive programs.
- State of California’s Title 24 (PDF, 5.7 MB) , effective July 1, 2014, establishes new construction standards for data centers that requires use of economizers, variable speed fans, and adiabatic humidification (exceptions apply); prohibits use of reheat; limits power consumption of fans; and requires use of containment in air-cooled high-density data centers.