Designs to be green
08-12-2008 - John Hatcher
Paul Eo regional manager Europe for LS Simple Intelligent Power Management says that EU legislation could change the way we construct data centres.
If the construction industry is to get ahead of EU legislation, it must designin, data centre power management technology.
Designing and creating a green building doesn't occur by chance. Why then is it that data centre energy requirements are sidelined in the design and build process? Paul Eo regional manager Europe for LS Simple Intelligent Power Management, Simple structured data cabling and Simple Intelligent Infrastructure Management says, It's essential that the IT and construction industries collaborate, to be ahead of inevitable and costly legislation.
This is not about provisioning circuits against expected loadings, but about designing intelligence in. Not long ago, the so called Dark Data Centre was the answer. In many respects, this represented a pendulum swing too far; not enough intelligence.
No longer are such considerations the preserve of big corporations; even the smallest man-and-a-dog company has the basis of a data centre and so, the data centre does not represent a construction industry competitive edge; like a well designed roof it's expected.
IT experts agree, that use of energy in IT represents profligate waste; it does not need to be like this and, there are significant savings to be made with a little foresight, planning and, intelligent use of simple technology.
A typical data centre with 1000 equipment racks requires fifteen Mega Watts of power, and operates on a 24 x 7 duty cycle, with no interruptions. Additionally, it is estimated, that 30% of a typical IT budget is spent on provisioning energy; everyone expects increases.
News from the City and Brussels sounds a chill warning. The City is protecting margins (cutting costs) in anticipation of recession and the EU is committed to encouraging' corporations to reduce energy consumption. While the how is being thrashed out, reductions there will be, and this encouragement, could soon become a sinister threat, directly affecting building values, operating costs and letting income.
This metaphorical encouragement will include taxes and who can afford to ignore Corporate Social Responsibility. With much to consider, the IT industry has been hard at work and companies like infrastructure cabling company LS, have produced solutions that radically improve data centre power management. Eo adds, It is always best to design-in such building intelligence.
Intelligent Power Management (IPM) provides Network and Facilities Managers, with real time information and a new pro active capability, to improve data centre management and the services provided. In turn, it enhances the ability to manage energy costs and it will help to improve the fiscal performance.
A modern data centre manager should manage the facility against a three point model Power, Temperature and Space. Taking a power centric view, it easy to see how an innocent decision to deal with one problem can concatenate into increased power consumption. Take the example of a data centre hot spot and the sledge-hammer response of increased air conditioning. A well designed IPM solution will monitor for this, taking action way before human intervention, saving energy, cost and, reducing risk of failure.
Non IT power usage is also a problem and aligning IPM and lighting control with maintenance works orders could allow only necessary data centre lighting to be powered, for the duration of the work.
Accommodating the technology of modern buildings requires much planning and a little technology of its own. If developers and users are to be in control of their energy use and ultimately their destiny in a competitive design and build market, they must design IPM in from the start.