The latest Jurassic Park movie reminds us that there are still many dinosaur data centers operating today. It’s imperative that data centers modernize—not just to meet today’s demands but to exceed the expectations of the future.

By 2022, enterprise data centers will have five times more computational capabilities per kilowatt than today, according to Gartner. Data center technologies are evolving rapidly to newer levels of efficiency and demand continuous improvement.

The speed at which the technology industry is moving is faster than many of its bricks-and-mortar counterparts. Data centers, while providing essentials, are in fact, incredibly complex environments. Additionally, the demands from an increasing number of businesses but not necessarily growing IT budgets require innovation and performance.

Creating a more efficient data center may include scaling up or investing in newer technologies based on the latest trends to achieve greater agility and capacity. Other efficiencies can be achieved simply by reorganizing the infrastructure of existing data centers.

Here are our top five recommendations to modernize data center operations optimizing power, cooling, space and IT load to improve data center efficiency.

The Top Five:

  1. Increase vertical space utilization (VSU) by increasing the quantity of IT equipment per rack. VSU = Installed IT Equipment (RU) divided by (Total Rack Space Equipment (RU) * Optimum Target)
  2. Implement a hot-aisle containment that encloses the hot aisle to collect the IT equipment’s hot exhaust air. This allows the rest of the room to become a large cold-air supply plenum. Alternatively, create a cold-aisle containment which encloses the cold aisle, allowing the rest of the data center to become a large hot-air return plenum.
  3. Implement data center infrastructure management (DCIM) tools to monitor, measure, track and control data center resources and energy consumption. This applies to both IT-related equipment and facility infrastructure components.
  4. Establish efficiency program goals and define realistic and defensible metrics (we suggest adding WUEs to the list), with benchmarks and regular reporting.
  5. Finally, The T-Rex of opportunity is to control and reduce water usage. Our systems deliver efficiency at any load in any climate. Our cooling technology utilizes up to 80% less energy and 85% less water to reduce resource usage, improve the environmental impact and lower your TCO.

As data centers consider making changes for efficiency’s sake, leaders will want to focus initially on the techniques that are easier to implement and offer higher rewards, like managing temperature properly, eliminating unnecessary cooling equipment, among others.

Remember, any improvement actions — even those that require practically no investment — could end up creating additional risks or may not deliver any tangible or effective results. Weigh the risks vs. rewards, realistic timetables, and contingency plans before pulling the plug.

Whether you’re expanding into new markets, or looking to make your existing facilities more efficient, Aligned Energy’s factory-built technology can help with your build-to-suit, retro-fit, and upgrade needs. You can provision to your requirements today and quickly add capacity on-demand as your needs evolve.