May 04 2011

8 Tips for a Greener Data Center

Federal IT execs offer pointers on how to optimize data centers and bump up their green quotient.

If you look at a data center, one of the best ways to improve power consumption is to reconfigure the traditional computer rack layouts.

"An important best practice for energy-efficient data centers is trying to manage air flow," says Chuck Powers, manager of the Infrastructure and Operations Group at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado. "You want to get the air where it's needed, when it's needed, efficiently and effectively. And one of the best practices is to arrange your data center in hot-aisle, cool-aisle configurations."

Watch the FedTech Video: Lean, Green Federal Machines

Government IT experts offer eight tips to maximize data center energy efficiency.

But that's just one critical element, Powers says.

To learn additional pointers from Powers, as well as other federal green IT experts, watch the FedTech video, "Lean, Green Federal Machines: 8 Tips to Maximize Data Center Energy Efficiency."

Powers and other officials from the national labs, Energy Department and Veterans Affairs Department sat down with FedTech during the GITEC Summit 2011 this spring to discuss ways to green government data centers.

Dale Sartor, leader of the Building Technologies Department at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.

"A lot of times, data center owners and operators know that their data centers are expensive to run, but they really don't know whether theirs are good or bad or kind of where to start in terms of savings," Sartor says.

There is a lot of help to be found within government, Sartor points out. He recommends four programs to data center managers: