Data Centers: How DCIM Tools Help Improve Energy Efficiency

Data storage is an increasingly complex challenge for American businesses. While customer information can help you manage your operations more efficiently, the more data you have, the more capacity you need. Data centers help businesses manage these complex requirements, but demand for more capacity can lead to massive energy costs. Find out how the latest tools help data centers manage energy consumption more efficiently, and learn more about the efficiency benefits you can get from a data center that uses DCIM tools.

How much energy do American data centers use?

American data centers absorb a significant proportion of all the electricity used in the United States. A 2010 study estimated that data centers used up to 1.5 percent of all the electricity in the United States, with a 36 percent increase on energy consumption compared to 2005.

In fact, this growth in energy consumption was lower than the estimated originally published by the Environmental Protection Agency. That aside, the speed of data growth globally is significant. One company estimates that global businesses created 2.5 billion gigabytes of data every day in 2012.

What are data center infrastructure management tools?

When a business decides to outsource data management to a third party, it's easy to underestimate the complexity of what follows. Data center infrastructure is highly complex, and suppliers must consider many issues, especially when it comes to energy consumption. As well as servers, data centers use UPS units, air conditioners, chillers, generators and other electrical appliances.

Data center infrastructure management (DCIM) tools make it easier to control energy consumption. This type of software presents the data center manager with a consolidated, real-time view across the entire system, allowing immediate customization to respond to operational needs.

How can DCIM tools improve energy efficiency?

You can't improve data center energy consumption if you don't know how much electricity each component of the system uses. Without DCIM tools, data center managers will normally have to manually consolidate information from various sources, using up valuable time and introducing the risk of human error. A simple mistake could lead to a decision that ends up costing a lot of money.

DCIM tools automatically collate all the information you need in real-time, presenting trends, predictions and other different ways to help you manage energy consumption. For example, data centers often experience periods of inefficiency, where the system design needs to cope with demand that users never actually create. DCIM tools can show you how this configuration wastes energy, allowing the data center to make changes that will conserve energy.

Why should businesses choose data centers with robust DCIM tools?

If you're looking for a data center to handle your business's data needs, you could argue that it doesn't really matter how the supplier manages data. In fact, energy efficiency is everyone's concern.

First, it's important to choose a data center that optimizes energy consumption, as this can affect the ongoing charges you pay. While a colocated data center can offer economies of scale, the price you pay will still reflect the energy the data center uses, so it's important to make sure you're getting value for money.

What's more, energy efficiency is only one part of DCIM tools. This specialist software can also help data centers more accurately manage their clients' capacity requirements. As your business starts to create and hold more data, you need to know that your supplier is working hard to manage the information effectively. DCIM tools can give you a wealth of management information at a glance that helps you manage performance against the agreed SLA.

As part of your company's social responsibility, it's also important to choose suppliers with the right energy efficiency credentials. Your customers increasingly demand solutions that are kinder to the planet, so you need to choose data centers that fit this description.

DCIM tools help data center managers drive ongoing improvements in efficiency, particularly when it comes to energy consumption. For more about this topic of colocation and DCIM tools, talk to a data center supplier about any tools used, and find out how you can work collaboratively to drive further performance improvements.