Data Center Management: What the Industry Isn't Telling You About Waste cover

Data Center Management: What the Industry Isn’t Telling You About Waste

On: August 31, 2022 Comments: 0
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We’re all familiar with the saying “waste not, want not.” Well, we believe it applies to the data center as much as it does anywhere else. Data center management requires careful oversight of resources. Yet, sadly, these resources are often squandered. So, what can you do to minimize waste? You can improve your operational efficiency to trim waste and get the most out of your resources. This goes for natural resources like water and energy, as well as human-made resources like electronics. Additional resources to care for include real estate space and even server heat.

Unfortunately, all of these types of waste harm the environment. It is becoming increasingly apparent that the planet’s resources are limited so data centers have a real responsibility to use only what they need. Lest we forget the two other resources that data centers can’t afford to waste: time and money.

Several complementary approaches can trim the fat in data centers. These methods include the accountable administration of resources and the use of innovative technologies like liquid immersion cooling. These efficiency boosts will decrease waste while improving performance and profitability.

What is Data Center Management?

Data center management is the oversight of server operations and resources including data and hardware as well as the facility itself. This activity includes the use of tools like data center infrastructure management (DCIM) software.

The facility has to keep serving customers without interruption. Personnel must plan for normal capacity and unforeseen events. This field encompasses the management of IT equipment as well as electrical and cooling systems. The good news is that GRC’s efficient immersion cooling systems improve reliability and affordability while protecting the environment!

Most Data Centers Waste Massive Amounts of Electricity

One of the biggest sources of waste in data centers today is their electricity. Believe it or not, around half of a facility’s electricity is wasted on traditional air cooling! Thankfully, there are now far more efficient liquid immersion cooling solutions that will certainly benefit data center management.

data center management

A data center's power usage effectiveness (PUE) indicates how efficiently it uses electricity. Cooling and servers are the two main consumers of a center’s electricity. Each generation of servers is more powerful than the last and requires more resources to handle more devices. Using sustainable immersion cooling is an effective way to keep up with customer demand for computational power without blowing your energy budget.

This wasted electricity not only costs money, but it also requires power generation from often unclean energy sources like coal. These inefficient cooling systems pollute the environment upsetting customers, partners, regulators, and the public.

GRC’s liquid immersion cooling solutions literally cut electricity use in half. And it’s not magic, it’s science. Even better, this green technology is already keeping millions of tons of carbon emissions out of the environment while saving data centers money.

In essence, electricity’s financial costs and ecological tolls are two sides of the same coin. By cutting the amount of fuel you burn in half, you save both money and the environment. That’s what we call a win-win. Forward-thinking data center managers understand that modern liquid cooling technology is the best weapon to combat electricity waste.

Data centers often cool more than necessary to prevent overheating. This adds 2% to the electricity bill for each degree (Fahrenheit) of waste cooling. Liquid immersion cooling automatically protects servers, eliminating this energy and financial drain.

Data Centers Burn Through Electronic Waste

Protecting servers extends their lifetime and keeps electronics out of landfills. All too often, data centers replace servers and other hardware before it’s even necessary. This contributes to electronic waste (e-waste).

data center management

Remote management and preventive maintenance can aid in extending the life of hardware. The more information you have, the better equipped you are to prevent electronics from turning into waste. DCIM software supports this functionality, as do cooling tanks from GRC.

Another way that data centers can reduce e-waste is to recycle and resell old hardware. Rather than just discarding it, repurpose hardware in a different form. Even when a server is no longer usable by a data center, that device can still work for other purposes or have its valuable components extracted and reused.

Still, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Liquid immersion cooling protects your servers from the elements and reduces the number of moving parts, further extending equipment life. Single-phase immersion uses an extremely simple design, ensuring that your hardware survives longer.

At a time when cloud providers and other data centers are under increasing scrutiny for their environmental effects, immersion offers a much more sustainable cooling solution. It uses 95% less energy than traditional air cooling, resulting in a much smaller carbon footprint. Not to mention, the eco-friendly liquid coolant has zero global warming potential.

There are also many less obvious consequences of choosing less efficient cooling technology. For example, air cooling requires bigger buildings with more electrical infrastructure which adds to the environmental toll. Contrastly, liquid immersion is a lightweight solution that results in minimal environmental impact. In fact, it helps by reducing e-waste.

Hyperscalers and cloud services of different sizes are touting immersion as the cooling system of the future. Governments will increasingly support—and even legally require—the cloud data center industry’s move towards carbon neutrality via incentives and regulations.

Water is a Resource Wasted by Data Centers

Environmental sustainability demands that data centers manage the natural resources they use. Water is one of the main natural resources that we must manage responsibly, as we literally cannot live without it. Data centers have recently come under scrutiny for their immense water consumption.

data center management

American data centers use 1.7 billion liters of water per day, with data centers in other countries not far behind. Less than 1/3 of data centers even bother to measure water use. Measuring the amount of this resource going through a data center is the first step to reducing waste.

Furthermore, water is needed to generate the electricity data centers use, so they cause substantial indirect water waste as well. Cutting their electrical bill reduces water waste, carbon emissions, and costs.

The smart way to cut electricity and water waste, carbon emissions, and cost is to use liquid immersion cooling. This technology uses resources more efficiently. In fact, GRC’s liquid immersion can cut water use by 89%!

Water usage efficiency (WUE) measures how well data centers use water. It’s comparable to power usage efficiency (PUE). Having information on the data center’s resource consumption enables smarter management and less waste.

Data Centers Waste Space

Data center real estate is a scarce commodity. It costs money regardless of whether it’s bringing any in or not. How can a data center make each square foot more profitable? By using denser installations of servers and other hardware and minimizing unnecessary equipment.

Liquid immersion cooling uses much less space than air cooling, and it allows for denser server installations because of its larger cooling capacity. Immersion cooling doesn’t require the same space that air cooling needs for additional generators, battery backups, and air processing equipment.

Data centers can also identify inactive servers and repurpose or sell them, consolidating applications on active servers. This move can save millions of dollars while reducing wasted space, e-waste, electricity waste, and maintenance costs.

Older machines take up two to three times the space of newer machines while using more electricity. This is why data centers should focus removal efforts on older hardware. Streamline operations with the latest servers and cooling systems to maximize the utility of floor space.

Waste Heat Can Now Be Reused!

Servers produce waste heat that, in turn, causes other problems. Companies often spend a lot to remove the heat from the building which can negatively impact the environment. Here’s the kicker: that waste heat can actually do a lot of good.

Unlike conventional air cooling that misdirects waste heat into the environment, GRC’s immersion systems capture that heat for your data center to recycle and redirect it to be used more productively.

Data centers are already employing waste heat for exciting and profitable applications. One of the more popular uses is district heating, where data center heat is redirected to heat buildings throughout the city! Data center heat is also used for various agricultural enterprises from growing tomatoes to raising fish. The heat output from servers can be used to generate electricity, which can even be used to power the cooling systems themselves!

Of course, for these inventive ways to recycle heat to work, your data center must use liquid immersion cooling to efficiently transport heat from IT equipment.

Downsize Data Center Waste With GRC

Data centers waste massive amounts of resources, including electricity, hardware, water, floor space, and heat. Fortunately, smart data center operators, including many hyperscalers, are already going green with environmentally friendly solutions like GRC’s liquid immersion cooling.

Eliminate unnecessary resource use for the good of us all. Waste costs everyone. Every kilowatt-hour, every liter, every square foot that is not serving you detracts from your bottom line and the only home we have.

Switch to ultra-efficient liquid immersion cooling from GRC and you’ll instantly cut waste. Liquid immersion uses half the electricity, costs half as much, and drastically reduces carbon emissions and water waste. It also frees up valuable data center space, enabling you to earn more. Ready to take the plunge? Talk to GRC today!