How you present information can make a big difference on the perception. Here are two different ways to present which are fundamentally the same ideas from Google and Microsoft.
It is fairly obvious which one is more user friendly.
Microsoft released its update 10 Business Practices for Environmentally Sustainable Data Centers and posted a document here.
Google has their Data Center Best Practices with a list of 5.
1. Measure PUE
You can’t manage what you don’t measure, so characterize your data center’s efficiency performance by measuring energy use. We use a ratio called PUE - Power Usage Effectiveness - to help us reduce energy used for non-computing, like cooling and power distribution. To effectively use PUE it’s important to measure often - we sample at least once per second. It’s even more important to capture energy data over the entire year - seasonal weather variations have a notable affect on PUE.
2. Manage airflow
Good air flow management is fundamental to efficient data center operation. Start with minimizing hot and cold air mixing by using well-designed containment. Eliminate hot spots and be sure to use blanking plates for any unpopulated slots in your rack. We’ve found a little analysis can pay big dividends. For example, thermal modeling using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) can help you quickly characterize and optimize air flow for your facility without many disruptive reorganizations of your computing room. Also be sure to size your cooling load to your expected IT equipment, and if you are building extra capacity, be sure your cooling approach is energy proportional.
3. Adjust the thermostat
Raising the cold aisle temperature will reduce facility energy use. Don’t try to run your cold aisle at 70F; set the temperature at 80F or higher — virtually all equipment manufacturers allow this. For facilities using economizers (we strongly recommend it), running elevated cold aisle temperatures is critical as it enables more days of “free cooling” and more energy savings.
4. Use free cooling
“Free cooling” is removing heat from your facility without using the chiller. This is done by using low temperature ambient air, evaporating water, or using a large thermal reservoir. Chillers are the dominant energy using component of the cooling infrastructure; minimizing their use is typically the largest opportunity for savings. There is no one ‘right’ way to free cool - but water or air-side economizers are proven and readily available.
5. Optimize power distribution
Minimize power distribution losses by eliminating as many power conversion steps as possible. For the conversion steps you must have, be sure to specify efficient equipment transformers and power distribution units (PDUs). One of the largest losses in data center power distribution is from the uninterruptible power supply (UPS); be sure to specify a high efficiency model. Also keep as high a voltage as close to the load as feasible to reduce line losses.