Is green still on your radar screen when it comes to managing your data center assets? If not, perhaps it should be. A greener data center can be achieved through various means, not the least of which is gaining efficiencies in the area of power (energy) usage. And there are many indirect ways to increase energy efficiency in the data center. Consider if you will virtualization, asset management, storage management, and cloud computing as potential contributors to a more energy efficient, "greener" data center. For the purposes of today's blog, let's focus on virtualization - and the notion that "green comes with it".
Through virtualization, you can improve data center efficiency by raising the utilization of servers. I've heard many times that most computing resources (CPU) are left untapped on a single server. A global study of server energy and efficiency supported by the Alliance to Save Energy found that 72% of server managers believe that 15% or more of their servers were not doing any useful work. Consolidating multiple applications and workloads that run on separate devices to a single, partitioned server reduces the number of actual servers needed to handle current as well as future demands. And fewer servers means increased utilization, which in turn means that less power is required to operate and cool them, resulting in a more efficient - energy and cost-wise - and environmentally friendly data center.
And when we talk about virtualization, we shouldn't forget about the network. As servers have sprawled, so has the network that's required for access to and communication with those servers. In some cases it's thought that networking equipment can contribute as much as 20% -25% of the power load. As servers are condolidated and virtualized, there too can be a significant opportunity to simplify the network as well, and drive additional savings in the areas of energy use and cost, and reduced environmental impact.
So if you think about the above, if should become clear that some green benefits of virtualization can include:
- Reduced energy use and associated costs
- Fewer hardware assets require less energy used
- Reduced heat output from fewer assets = reduced cooling requirements = less energy used
- Lowered carbon emissions due to the reduction in hardware and energy use = a cleaner environment
- And let's not forget that consolidation can certainly lower capital and operational costs as well
You may not think of green when you think of virtualization, but the potential benefits are compelling and should be part of the equation when thinking about the impact that virtualization could have on your IT infrastructure.
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