A Guide to A Greener Data Centre: What To Consider?

The idea of going green is a continuously looming target that modern industry is being encouraged to strive for. Being 100% fully sufficient with the use of sustainable resources seems like every business’ new age calling. However, for the majority, becoming fully green can present its challenges and tribulations.

Given the endless encouragement and benefits of green, you would assume accessibility to ‘green’ practice would be a simple feat. However, quite the contrary scalds much of industry – with many sustainable alternatives requiring entire hardware overhauls, and a large sum to fulfil the targets.

Nevertheless, even if your business is unable to afford the lavish equipment overhaul needed to reduce your footprint, it does not diminish the ability for your business to strive towards becoming more efficient in smaller ways, until more affordable alternatives allow for the wider adoption of complete efficiency. (You can also save some money by implementing some of what we are about to suggest anyway).

Professional Engineering Institutions (UK)  

If you haven’t already, aligning your business to chartered institutions can be a highly beneficial move in your quest for being green. Understanding and becoming aware of their activities can prove supplementary for businesses, as they are able to provide you with support, guidance, publications, statutory advice and a handful of other implications that may be beneficial when looking to re-establish your business as a greener one. So, at least whilst you’re initiating your journey to green –  obtaining guidance from the artillery of institutes at your disposal can lead to some valuable finds.

European Code of Conduct for Data Centre Energy Efficiency 

The European Code of Conduct for Data Centre Energy Efficiency is a gateway to tangibility for your ethical practice. Becoming a member certifies your commitment to demonstrating ethical protocol, whilst providing your business partners and consumers with assurance. You are offered the ability to non exclusively become an 'endorser' or 'participant', both of which provide their own unique roles in maintaining efficiency. 

  • A Participant operates one or more data centres or equipment within data centres and commits to energy reporting and implementation of certain practices from the Best Practice guide. 
  • Other bodies involved with data centre operators may become Endorsers by committing to support the Code and Participants through the development of products, information, services, education or other programs.
  • Given your current stance in industry, applying to become either all is a great way to demonstrate your participation in the quest for green.  

If you are interested in finding out more, follow this link:  http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC110666

What next?  

Once you have begun to understand the exact implications and requirements for going green, you can now take those next steps in turning this knowledge into something tangible. 

Cold/Hot Aisle Containment Systems

Cold/hot aisle containment systems are great counter measures in assuring your data centre is utilising energy at a conservative rate, whilst lowering the costs of cooling. By having cool/hot air working together in harmony, airflow becomes easier to manage, as one balances the other.

If you’re considering green, cold/hot aisle containment systems provide you with the assurance of balanced and regulated energy usage, without sacrificing power.  

Inverter Driven Compressor

Inverter Driven Compressors or IDC (AKA Variable-frequency drives AKA VFDs…) regulate cooling systems based upon the live demand of a data centre. If your data centre is under minimal stress or vice versa, the IDC will identify the need to reduce or increase energy requirements and adjust the system accordingly – ultimately reducing your overall energy usage and expenditure. AN IDC offers constant yet sustained regulation, voiding the earlier, and damaging practice that would work from one extreme to another.                    

Reduce Your Cabinets!

If you have individual cabinets performing an individual task, odds are (unless you really require it) you can start running these tasks on just one cabinet. This is known as leverage virtualisation (LV) which consists of redirecting multiple cabinets to an individual cabinet that has the capacity to perform multiple tasks. By incorporating leverage virtualisation, you could potentially halve your rack capacity and save a huge amount of energy in the process.

Turn Off the Lights

 The energy required by lighting is often taken for granted and can set you back a few pennies if you’re negligent in your use. Consider implementing and installing LED and/or CFL based lights as their thirst for energy is far less than their ancestors. Like all the points listed, although you may have to fall victim to a bigger bill, it will save you a lot of money in the long term. On the contrary, if you simply cannot afford to replace your lighting system, begin by looking to become more conscious of your current usage by for example: turn off the lights in your server room if you are not currently active within the room and turning off the lights during non-peak and off work hours. It may be difficult to remember, but if successfully implemented, you will save yourselves a large sum of money that can be put towards becoming greener in the long term. 

To conclude, these are just some of the many routes you can take in becoming a greener data centre. Even if you are not in a position financially to implement some of the suggestions, take this post as an inspiration to implement just small changes, as these small changes will go far for the time being until you can afford or chose to implement definitive sustainable practice. 

At INFINITI, we are focused on being able to provide you with services that are fully encompassing of the information provided above. If you are interested in finding out more about building a greener data centre, contact us here: 

enquiries@infiniti-it.co.uk 


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