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The Australian National University

Servers

Efficient server design: if you prefer separate servers for different applications, you can still reduce cost and energy use by about 30% if you ensure that each server is designed to meet the requirements of its allotted application.

Optimise data storage: optimise data storage according to your organization’s needs. Efficient hard drives can reduce power consumption by 30-40% in various ways.

Additional power: your servers require adequate cooling arrangements which are switched on 24/7 in server rooms. This costs your organization thousands of dollars annually.

Physical server consolidation: it is better to have some servers running a full workload and others switched off, than several servers running with light workloads – even at a low workload, power draw can be 70% to 90%.

Energy efficient equipment for the server room: when you purchase IT equipment for a data centre, remember that it will be in place, consuming power and creating heat for several years. So careful selection of hardware and deployment methods can provide significant long-term savings. Some points to consider:

  • control of equipment energy use
  • enable power management features
  • energy and temperature reporting hardware
  • use energy star labelling as a guide to energy efficient server selection
  • multiple tender for IT hardware
  • configure power and cooling
  • select equipment suitable for the cabinet
  • select equipment suitable for the data centre.

Review carbon impact of software: the service architecture, software and deployment of IT services are as important as the IT hardware you choose.

  • consider the hardware implications of new service architecture and seek senior business approval for any new service that requires dedicated hardware and will not run on a resource sharing platform
  • develop efficient software – make the energy use performance of the software a critical success factor of the project
  • if outsourcing software development, include the energy use of the software in the bonus/penalty clauses of the contract
  • reduce hot/cold standby equipment – use only the level of Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery standby IT equipment and resilience justified by business impact
  • reduce IT hardware resilience level – use only the level of hardware resilience justified by business impact.

Efficient power equipment: Power conditioning and delivery equipment has a substantial impact on the efficiency of your data centre and is likely to be in operation for many years. Careful choice of power equipment at design time can provide substantial savings over the long term. Some points to consider:

  • select high efficiency UPS
  • use modular uninterruptible power supply (UPS) where possible – you can now purchase modular (scalable) UPS systems across a broad range of power delivery capacities, which reduces both the capital cost and the fixed overhead losses of these systems
  • use efficient UPS operating modes such as line interactive. Technologies such as Rotary and High Voltage DC (direct current) can also improve efficiency as there is no dual conversion requirement.

Measure and monitor
Email GreenICT and we will conduct a free audit of the energy consumption of your ICT operations and help you save $$$ on your energy costs. ANU has developed the Green ICT Tool which will identify energy savings and assist you budget the rise in energy costs. We are also looking at ICT as the enabler to reduce carbon emissions from your organization.

  • CPU utilization: how much of your sever is being utilized?
  • data centre density: i.e. CPU cycles per square metre
  • power use effectiveness (PUE) – PUE is the total facility power divided by the IT equipment power, and DCE is the IT equipment power divided by the total facility power (i.e. the inverse of PUE)
  • storage density – amount of data storage per square metre
  • storage utilization – how much storage you use divided by the total storage available
  • SWaP – the performance divided by (space multiplied by power consumption) gives an indication of both efficiency of space and efficiency of power consumption in one metric. (performance per watt)

Updated:  18 April 2011/ Responsible Officer:  Director, Facilities & Services Division/ Page Contact:  Systems and Information Technology