For Arizona colocation companies, staying green can be difficult.
Not all customer-owned servers and equipment are energy-efficient, and even those that are will throw off enough heat to drive overall cooling costs up.
But green technologies are available to keep operations sustainable even when business is hot.
Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software provides facility managers with greater insights into the colocation site’s energy usage and offers solutions to maximize equipment operating efficiency.
According to Gartner Research, DCIM can reduce a company’s operating expenses by up to 20%, making it such a valuable resource that over 60% of North American data centers will be using it by 2017.
According to BizTech Magazine, cooling is the biggest source of power usage in data centers, and the same holds true for colocation companies.
Ensuring that expensive servers do not overheat is critical, yet densely packed equipment racks create potentially dangerous hot spots.
Colocation companies in Arizona have been focusing more on free cooling as a means of maintaining a safe operating temperature. It consumes less energy and comes in three principal forms:
- Air-side: Outside air is filtered into the facility or brought in indirectly via heat exchangers.
- Water-side: Water or another cooling medium such as glycol circulate through cooling towers instead of compressors or chillers.
- Adiabatic: A form of air-side cooling that involves air being brought to a chamber and combined with evaporated water to cool internal temperatures.
Free cooling is effective and saves so much energy that many data centers and colocation sites are now being built without mechanical chiller plants.
Hot Aisle / Cold Aisle Design
This design is now considered an important part of best practice.
All servers and other hardware in a row of cabinets face the same direction so that cool air blows from one side while hot air is expelled on the other.
Cool air is delivered directly where it is needed, reducing power consumption and HVAC costs.
This no-cost solution works to provide cooling where it is needed the most.
By properly managing the cable setup at each rack discharge, recirculation is reduced.
Installing blanking panels and placing higher-density servers at low or mid-height shelves also improves air management.
Lighting control systems, working in conjunction with occupancy sensors, lower energy usage, especially in facilities that run 24/7.
When there is no one in a room or area, the lights dim or go out entirely, only to re-activate when someone comes in.
Arizona colocation companies now favor building designs that reflect heat and retain cool air. These include:
- White roofs covered with solar-reflective white coating that decreases surface temperatures by 100 degrees Fahrenheit
- Specially insulated walls
- Painting the building exterior a light color
Such protective measures not only lower cooling costs, they also offset CO₂ emissions by approximately five metric tons per 500 square feet.
The Bottom Line
By implementing green practices such as free cooling and hot aisle / cold aisle layouts, Arizona colocation companies can meet growing customer demand and even expand in the future without compromising on energy efficiency.
Does your colocation company use any of the strategies outlined in this post? If so, are the results positive? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments box below.
And if you’re responsible for growing the client list and revenue of an Arizona colocation company, be sure to download your free copy of Lead Generation Best Practices for Colocation Data Centers.
Topics:- Data Center Colocation