Energy is one of the highest costs in data centers -- even the small ones. Server rooms and data closets (known as "small embedded data centers") are one of the fastest growing end users of electrical energy in commercial buildings in the United States. And as much as one third of their energy usage is unnecessary, representing a significant cost savings opportunity.
The Center for Energy and Environment (CEE) launched a pilot program last year to determine if monitoring energy use from small embedded data centers can deliver tangible financial benefits. Eleven Minnesota companies from education, legal services, nonprofit, municipal and health care sectors are currently participating. Packet Power was selected to provide power monitoring for the pilot because our flexible solutions are easy to install and provide power and energy consumption at the granular level of detail CEE needs. Participants were pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to set up our monitors and like the instant access to data using our EMX Energy Portal.
Dr. Lester Shen, Director of Innovative Technologies at CEE, is leading the study. Initial baseline data suggests that the biggest cost savings may come from making straightforward changes like powering down unneeded servers during non-critical times and adjusting cooling settings.
Dr. Shen observed:
"There's an opportunity for aligning the IT manager's goal of keeping critical systems running with the facilities manager's goal of managing operational costs. The study's desired outcome is to identify measures that save money that IT managers will feel comfortable adopting."
Read more about the CEE Small Embedded Data Center pilot program.
This project is supported in part by a grant from the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources through the Conservation Applied Research and Development (CARD) program. CEE provided additional project funding in support of its nonprofit mission to advance research, knowledge dissemination, and program design in the field of energy efficiency.
The study is open to additional Minnesota companies; email Dr. Shen at firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested in participating.