How to build and manage an energy-efficient data centre: A mini guide

An energy-efficient data centre helps save considerable costs over time. This mini guide has info on how to build, manage and measure ROI of an energy-efficient data centre.

Data centre managers have long been concerned with how to build energy-efficient data centres and save costs. But...

amid tighter budgets and tougher environmental regulations, power savings has become more important than ever.

Data centre energy efficiency can be achieved in several ways, such as using free-air cooling, optimising computer room air conditioning (CRAC), and creating hot and cold aisles, among other tactics.

In this learning guide, we focus on ways to build an energy-efficient data centre that will help you save costs. The guide also focuses on the returns an energy-efficient data centre can yield and why it important to invest in green data centre technologies.

Lastly, although cost savings are the top priority for IT pros, many environmentally conscious data centre managers are exploring how energy-efficient data centres help them cut emissions and green their IT projects. This guide also provides information on energy-efficiency regulations and offers advice on how to comply with these standards and reduce your carbon footprint.  

Let this guide be your one-stop resource for information, best practice tips, examples, and advice for achieving an energy-efficient data centre.


1.       How to build and manage an energy-efficient data centre

Free-air cooling:  Using natural cooling in data centres

Cooling is a major energy drain in a data centre. When used strategically, natural cooling, or free-air cooling, can be one of the most cost-effective means to keep the data centre temperature low. Find out how.

How to optimise CRAC units for maximum energy efficiency

For an effective data centre energy efficiency action plan, IT pros must match the facility to the needs of the IT estates and optimise CRAC units. This article offers tips on how to improve CRAC units for an energy-efficient data centre.

Efficient energy use and energy security in the data centre

This Q&A explores how businesses can use co-generation to strengthen their energy security as well as the steps they can follow to use power efficiently in data centres.

Improve data centre energy efficiency by cutting cooling

When data centre managers are told that their data centre feels “cool,” they take it as a compliment. But, in fact, the temperature may have been set too low. Average data centre ambient temperatures tend to be around 65° F when they can be around 80° F. At 80° F, mass volumetric cooling becomes far cheaper. Read for more.

Water cooling vs. air cooling: The rise of water use in data centre

Although it’s a popular approach to use air to maintain an optimum temperature in the data centre, air cooling has its limitations. Water has more capacity than air to remove heat, argues expert Clive Longbottom. Learn how enterprises use water cooling approaches for an energy-efficient data centre.

Energy-saving tips: Reduce energy consumption with hot-aisle and cold-aisle containment

In order to reduce energy consumption, data centre managers must ensure that the overall approach to cooling is optimised, advises Clive Longbottom.  Learn how to reduce energy consumption by creating cold-aisle units.

Issues with data centre power generation and power management

Due diligence and careful implementation will ensure that a data centre uses energy efficiently and effectively. This article explains how alternative energy means, such as hydro, geothermal, solar  and wind power, as well as structured cabling, will add up to energy savings.


2.       The ROI of energy -efficient data centres

Invest in energy-efficient power and cooling for data centre ROI

Determining the exact savings gained with power-saving technologies  is not easy. This article explains how to improve ROI on power and cooling using the concept of power usage effectiveness (PUE).

Will Energy Star servers give your business a positive ROI?

Energy Star is an initiative developed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by inefficient use of power. Will deploying Energy Star-rated products help you save costs and gauge ROI?

Data centre efficiency: Which tactics are worth the cost?

If your sole mission is to save costs, this article offers tips on the cost-effective data centre technologies to bring a positive difference to your bottom line.

Google leads by example in data centre energy efficiency

Get inspiration for building an energy-efficient data centre from Google’s data centre practices. The search engine giant claims its data centres have a super-low PUE. Chris Malone, Google’s thermal technologies architect, explains.


3.       The energy-efficient data centre: A step towards green IT

Outsourcing IT and cloud models serve as carbon emission escape routes

Cooling can account for up to 40% of data centre energy use, so any efficiency savings that can help reduce an organisation’s carbon emissions is welcome. Can moving IT infrastructure to the cloud be the way forward?

Energy Star for data centres is first definitive green data centre rating

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star certification may have flaws. But even so, it is a giant leap forward for green data centres, insists data centre design expert Robert McFarlane.

Will you lose profit through the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme?

CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, a carbon trading scheme which incentivises large corporations to make energy efficiency improvements, can be confusing. This feature includes measures that will help IT pros achieve CRC EES compliance and reduce energy costs.

CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme: How to be on track with I/O virtualisation

The CRC EES, introduced in 2010, also saw businesses being liable for their enterprise’s carbon output. Learn how Input/Output virtualisation helps reduce hardware in your data centre and subsequently cuts cooling costs.

Data centre efficiency and consolidation study guide

One of the first steps towards building an energy-efficient data centre is to identify the inefficiencies. Take this rapid-fire quiz and gain access to green data centre resources.

Read more on Datacentre energy efficiency and green IT