Electronics Protection - September/October 2013 - (Page 31)
Five Ways to Realize Server Room Profitability
Paul Stennett, Product Specialist
With servers responsible for storing and distributing data
among employees and customers, alike, they are the backbone of
just about every modern business. Of course, this type of mission
critical power comes at a cost but, if you strategize your server
farm with a budget boosting mindset, you can realize great cost
savings in the long run without sacrificing efficiency or performance. Here’s are five ways to squeeze more ROI out of your
1. The Big Number One: Proper Cooling
Cooling is extremely important to the overall energy costs of
your server room. With all the power a server generates, it’s going
to take more than the integrated
fan to keep it cool. There are many
ways your cooling situation may
become compromised, both inside
and outside the cabinet.
Believe it or not, poor cable
management is one of the most
pervasive causes of overheating,
downtime, decreased component
service life, and increased labor
times and costs. Getting those
cables properly installed from the
get-go keeps the air flowing freely,
increases visibility, provides strain
relief and makes swapping equipment a breeze. This often ignored
facet of network installation can
make or break your setup without very little outside help.
Many installers make the huge mistake of packing a certain
number of cabinets with high power draining, high heat generating servers while filling other cabinets with passive patch panels.
This is not a good idea. Failing to balance out the heat in your
cabinets can lead to hot spots in your server room, which makes
one portion of your cooling system work a lot harder. This, of
course, causes much more energy use to keep that area cool (not
to mention shorter service life on all components involved!).
For some reason, server cabinets are the world’s biggest dust
magnets. Accumulated dust can clog fans, block air to equipment,
and cause overheating as a result. Having a server room cleaned
top to bottom on a regular basis is sure to save lots of money
and trouble in the end. Also, be sure to keep the doors to the
server room sealed to help keep dust out and improve overall
When installing servers, make sure cooling needs are accurately
calculated. When adding any equipment to the server room setup,
it is imperative that users recalculate cooling needs according to
the additional energy consumption (heat production).
2. Managed Power Distribution
As heat is generated only by devices that are running, there is
much money to be saved by powering down devices when they
no longer need to be running. This can be very difficult to do
when you’re not in the building. For businesses that don’t need all
engines going 24/7, these PDU provide the option to safely
shut down certain machines at the times of your choosing, and
the most advanced models give you full programmability by each
individual outlet. These PDUs can be fully software integrated into
your system for the easy and full control of your entire power
situation. Even better, an efficient managed PDU will pay for itself
in a few short years.
Solar power is an option that is now becoming very popular.
Though expensive to install, solar systems will pay for themselves
in a few years. To add even more safety to your investment, the
photovoltaic batteries they use are generally guaranteed for a
quarter of a century. The only downside is that the availability of
solar energy depends completely on the weather. Surely, Tucson is
a much better place to harness solar power than Seattle.
3. Considering Affordable
But Reliable Equipment
With so much at stake, many
IT installers will choose the top
brands when selecting equipment.
While this strategy will probably
provide the performance you need,
it doesn’t mean that same performance and reliability could not be
achieved more affordably. Before
automatically equating price with
performance, try checking out
popular forums such as www.
serverwatch.com and www.spiceworks.com for professional equipment reviews. You may find an
affordable Dell server that is tested
and proven to perform just like that Cisco you almost bought.
Though it is nice to be prepared for growth so you are not
overwhelmed, you simply don’t need an 18x24 room full of top of
the line servers for a small business with a handful of employees.
Always buy only what you need to run your operation, adding
a bit of headroom “just-in-case”. Too much of a good thing can
certainly be bad.
When it comes to information technology, standards are extremely difficult to pin down. Even so, when buying equipment,
cooling systems, and cabling, it’s best to think about the future
whenever possible. Becoming thoroughly knowledgeable about upcoming trends in the industry will prove to be a massive benefit to
profitability. It is often not much more expensive to build a server
room using standards geared towards the future, but it is always
expensive to buy lots of equipment only to replace it in a year.
5. Virtualizing Servers
Virtualizing your servers is a great way to make the best of
your resources. Instead of buying additional servers, virtualization
allows you to partition the resources while masking the physical
location. For example, if you’re using dual core processor server,
it can easily be made to appear and operate as 2 separate servers.
This instantly saves you money by requiring you to by half the
hardware you would need without it.
For more information visit www.CableOrganizer.com.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Electronics Protection - September/October 2013
Geist Unveils Rapid Deployment Data Center Environmental Monitoring System
Enabling Effective Thermal Management with DCIM
Predicting Gasket Performance: SE Measurements with a TEM Cell to Study Gasket Reliability
Rack Containment 101
The Nine Core Elements of DCIM
Using Electronic Locking Solutions to Secure Enclosures and Meet Storage Compliance Needs
Hammond’s HJ Series Ticks All the Boxes
Rogers Introduces Poron SlimGrip Foam
Ferrite Suppressors Clear Interference
Fujipoly Thermal Sheets are a Cooling Influence on LED Lighting
GE Introduces TLE Series UPS Platform
Gore PolyVent XL Improves Reliability of Large Outdoor Enclosures
IMI Sensors Launches Linear Adjust Mechanical Vibration Switch
Calendar of Events
Five Ways to Realize Server Room Profitability
Electronics Protection - September/October 2013