Intelligent datacentre shutdown 'could slash energy bills'

Shutting down the majority of datacentre servers at night or when they are typically not used is one of the most effective ways for large businesses to save energy, according to Fujitsu Siemens Computers.

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Shutting down the majority of datacentre servers at night or when they are typically not used is one of the most effective ways for large businesses to save energy, according to Fujitsu Siemens.

Taking this and other steps towards an intelligent datacentre set-up was crucial for firms that wanted to be green, the company said.

Speaking at the company’s annual VisIT event in Munich, product marketing director Bernhard Brandwitte said businesses could save up to 70% on datacentre energy costs by using a combination of automated power control and virtualisation to consolidate servers.

“It is important businesses optimise their infrastructure and make effective use of resources through virtualising servers, and automating cooling and power,” he said.

Fujitsu Siemens sells its own services to guide businesses on datacentre use, as well as low power servers and software that controls power use.

“Businesses need to choose servers with more efficient components and a better confiuguration, such as smaller hard discs that spin a little more slowly, lower voltage processors and larger fans that require a lower rotation speed”. It was necessary to accept there was a positive a “trade-off” between a marginally lower performance and big energy savings, Brandwitte suggested.

By taking steps such as reducing the size of hard disc inside servers, using a lower voltage processor and a smarter RAM setup, a business could knock a third off its €700 (£487) power costs per year on an industry standard €2,000 (£1,393) server and its cooling, Brandwitte calculated.

This meant that in three years the cost of a standard server would have to paid again just in the energy consumption associated with it.

It was also important for businesses to take sensible steps including avoiding cables blocking the air escapes of servers, a mistake that Brandwitte said firms commonly made.

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