Monday, May 21, 2012

Cut Data Center Energy Bill in Six Ways

"People are looking at data center efficiency, whereas five years ago it wasn't an issue," says Adam Fairbanks, Bluestone Energy, a company that retrofits old data centers to make them more energy efficient and to qualify for utility rebates (many utilities are required to help pay for data center projects that will reduce energy use; if a project can be proven to cut energy draw by 20%, the utility might pay for as much as half the cost of the project). "Today any new data center build gets scrutinized by the CFO as well as facilities and IT."

Where lowering a company's carbon footprint was a big driver for such projects a few years ago, because of the economy, environmental concerns have gotten pushed back and today they're a matter of reducing operating expense, Fairbanks says. "Money drives the majority of the projects we work on," he says.

Fairbanks shares some of the most popular methods his clients have been using to cut energy costs in a power-guzzling data center:

  • Turn the thermostat up. The common wisdom around how cold a data center needs to be has changed and an ASHRAE committee has revised the upper limits of its data center temperature recommendation up to 70-77 degrees. "People have said that's conservative, and many equipment manufacturers have said that up to 90 degrees is OK for their products," Fairbanks says.
    However, you have to be able to manage the movement of air before you can raise temperatures, he warns. If the air is not coming through the floor properly (due to excessive wires in the way or something) or air is swirling around, you won't see efficiencies.

    And you still have to cool computing equipment, even with a set point of 90 degrees. A server left running by itself uncooled would probably fry itself, Fairbanks says. "At one data center I was at recently, we did a thermal scan, where we measure and map temperatures all over the facility. One rack was at 110, which is a danger level," he says. With the proliferation of blade racks, such high cabinet temperatures are becoming more common, and there's a tendency to put all the racks in one corner of the data center, which creates one huge hot spot.

  • Upgrade the HVAC. "About 30% of the power used by a data center is consumed by cooling," Fairbanks says, and the average data center is over-cooled by three or four times. A new cooling system also causes less stress on day-to-day operations than bringing in other types of new equipment. "If you put in new servers and power units, you have to rewire half the data center and move things around and it's higher risk than changing the HVAC," he says. "If you have a backup HVAC system for redundancy, you can flip over to the backup while you install the new system and achieve payback quickly."

  • Use cold and hot aisles. This method of laying out a data center such that cold air used to cool computers is kept separate from the hot air they generate has been around for years, but has become more widely adopted this year.

  • Try blanking panels. Server racks often have holes in the back of the cabinet, especially racks that are not full of blades. The cold air that is pushed up through the floor into these rack can escape out of the holes and into the hot aisle, causing the air conditioning system to run less efficiently. A blanking panel closes over the holes so that cold air is used exclusively to cool the servers in the racks.

  • Virtualize. "There's often a conflict between the business units that own the racks and the IT staff that want to use virtualization," Fairbanks says. But here's an incentive: his company has qualified data centers for utility rebates through virtualization projects, since reduced power supplies are required for fewer servers.

  • Get cooling and heating equipment to work together. Some inefficiencies are caused by CRAC units that operate independently and often fight each other, Fairbanks notes. Heating systems can conflict with air conditioning and humidifiers sometimes defeat the purpose of dehumidifiers. Bluestone offers software that has sensors and controls that monitor temperature and humidity all over a data center and aggregate information from all the units to a central point that monitors and manages all the set points. The company also provides fan trays that pull air from the floor efficiently into racks where wires or other obstacles are impeding the flow of air.

Adopted from

Cold / Hot Aisle

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Data Center Facilities Design & Infrastructure Engineering

Data Center Design and Infrastructure Engineering
Two-day Workshop for Data Center Design (TIA-942 and Tier Standards), Cooling & IT Strategies


The workshop is designed for executive and data centre owners, managers and operators to enrich their relevant knowledge in data center E&M and facilities management. We provide an introduction of the critical infrastructure system that supports typical data centres and environments. It also prepares you to fully understand the main components that facilitate data centre design & build, operation and management by exploring the standards of TIA 942 and Tier.

All sections are conducted by Chartered Engineers (CEng) and help you to approach best practices in designing and operating energy efficient data centers by our further technical programs.

Registration Detail

Date 26 & 27 October 2012 (Friday - Saturday, 2-day)
Time 10:00am - 5:30pm
Venue 10th Floor,Central Building, 1 - 3 Pedder Street, Central, Hong Kong
Target Audience CIO, CTO, IT Directors, Data Center Operations / Facilities Managers, Data Center / ICT Consultants and E&M Engineers
Fee Normal Rate: HK$4,700 (Early Bird Rate: 10% Discount)
(Two refreshment breaks will be provided.)
Enrollment        Online Registration or Download Application Form (Attached)
Should you have any enquiry, please feel free to contact us at 3796 3026 /

Day 1 Content

- Data Centre Overview and Definition
- Data Centre Standards (TIA and Tier)
- Data Centre Network and Structure
- IT Strategy
- Cabinet Layout
- Raised Floor System
- Telecommunication Backbones, Redundancy, Sizing and Planning
- Fiber and Optical System Design
- Fiber and Optical Cable Components
- Copper System Design and High Speed Ethernet

Day 2 Content

- Copper Cabling Components
- Cable Distribution, Layout and Management
- Cooling - Cooling Topologies, Chiller, CRAC, Cooling Towers, Hot / Cold Aisle, etc.
- Power - High / Low Power, Switch System, UPS, Transformers, Fuel Tanks, Generators, etc.
- Earthing / Grounding and Bounding
- Electromagnetic Interference / Electromagnetic Pulse (EMI / EMP)
- Environmental Management System (EMS)
- Fire Protection System
- Physical Security

Delivered by Experienced Speakers

Mr Joe Tang

Having more than 10 years experience in mission critical design, Mr Tang was working on numerous projects involving data centers, disaster recovery sites, trading floors for multinational financial institutes and data centre providers in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Shanghai, South Korea and India.

He is specialized in the areas of master site planning, mission critical infrastructure design, single point of failure study, cause and effect analysis and integrated system test. Mr Tang is now working in a multi-disciplines consultancy providing sustainable design and green initiatives to different sections in Asia Pacific.

Mr Tang is also:

- A Chartered Engineer of Engineering Council (CEng)
- A Member of The Institution of Engineering and Technology (MIET)
- A Corporate Member of Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineering(MCIBSE)
- A Member of American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (MASHARE)
Ir Joson Chan

Ir Chan, a holder of Bachelor of Building Services Engineering, has endorsement units in Technical Services and Power Electronics, holds an Endorsement Certificate in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, a Higher Certificate in Electrical Engineering, a Certificate in Electrical Engineering and is an Environmental Officer.

He has gained extensive experience within different aspects of infrastructure projects and as a Senior Engineer in an E&M consultant firm, mainly involved in the data centre / financial institutions MEPF design projects, working with companies such as Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and HSBC to name a few. He unites learning with this key career experiences, allowing delegates to gain essential insight into real-life working and scenarios.

Ir Chan is also:

- A Fellow of Society of Operations Engineers (FSOE)
- A Chartered Engineer of Engineering Council (CEng)
- A Member of The Institution of Engineering and Technology (MIET)
- A Corporate Member of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (MHKIE)
- Grade H0 and C0 Registration of Electrical Worker of the HKSAR Government
Ir K.T. Poon

Ir Poon has more than 10 years consultancy experience in Data Center design and build, operation management, energy and cost management projects both in Hong Kong and China. He was also working for a design and installation of a facility management system in an international school in Hong Kong with a subsystem of an energy management system.

Ir Poon is a part time letcturer in various tertiary institutes. He also teaches facility management, business strategic management of the distance learning courses (both degree and master degree) offered by overseas Universities.

Ir Poon is also:

- A Corporate Member of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (MHKIE)
- A Chartered Member of the British Computer Society (MBCS)
- A Chartered Engineer of the Engineering Council, U.K. (CEng)
- European Engineer of the European Federation of National Engineering Associations (Eur. Ing.)
- A Chartered Information Technology Professional of the British Computer Society (CITP)

Recent Participants Come Form

Airport Authority Hong Kong Facilities Analysis & Control Limited
Asia Satellite Telecommunications Limited Fujitsu Hong Kong Limited
Citic Telecommunication CPC Group Johnson Controls Hong Kong Limited
Electrical & Mechanical Services Department, HKSAR Government Leigh & Orange Limited
Welcome Air-Tech Limited

And More...

© 2012 Strategic Media Asia Limited

T (852) 3796 3026 | F (852) 2184 9978 |
Room 1303, Leighton Centre, 77 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong