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How to make your data center more efficient

Cooling, spacing, cabling—it’s all part of keeping data infrastructure as efficient as possible.

February 03, 2020

How to make your data center more efficient
Data centers, the lifeblood of any modern enterprise, are becoming increasingly complex to manage. Obviously keeping a data center as efficient as possible can help any business save—but how is it done? The following are a few tips that can boost the efficiency of any data center facility.
 
Efficiency starts with architecture
Data center architecture and how hardware is deployed are incredibly important to overall efficiency. Poor design can hamper energy efficiency, keep servers from operating at optimal levels, lead to heating issues and—unsurprisingly—waste money. Even having a good plan for deploying the endless data and power cabling that connect your hardware is a must. It’s important when planning a new data center or updating existing architecture to not just plan for the current design, but also for how future servers and additions will integrate with the hardware you already have. How power is shared among servers and even how densely the servers are situated are important factors to keep in mind.
 
Not all data matters
There’s more data in the world than there’s ever been, and it’s accumulating at an accelerating rate. And while most of this data can be analyzed and utilized, there’s always some portion of it that isn’t fit for analysis and is simply occupying digital storage space. Failing to appropriately address this issue can cost companies dearly. The solution is proper data hygiene. Unused data needs to be classified and migrated so server space can be freed up and used for processing more valuable data. This can also help alleviate the work demanded of servers, which can prolong the life of hardware and save on cost.
 
DCIM
A data center infrastructure management (DCIM) platform has become an essential component of most modern data centers. This is because DCIM provides real-time insight into important system information, including cooling, power consumption, network traffic and much more. Without having real-time feedback provided by DCIM, it’s nearly impossible to properly manage a data center. This is because any problem—whether large or small—is essentially unforeseeable and probably won’t be apparent until some level of service outage has been experienced.
 
Keeping your cool 
Even individual computers can experience heating issues. Multiply that by racks upon racks of servers all tightly configured within the confines of a busy data center, and, if not properly cooled, you can have serious potential hardware failure on your hands due to overheating. Imagine spending a small fortune on data infrastructure only to experience reliability issues because you didn’t craft a proper cooling plan. It’s important to make sure air conditioning adequately removes exhaust heat away from hardware. Some systems even reuse that hot air and pump it back into the data center once it’s been cooled.
 
Hardware refresh
Creating an effective refresh plan for data center infrastructure is essential to maintaining efficiency. Everything—from servers and cooling systems to power distribution units (PDUs) and power supplies—has a shelf life, and keeping them around too long can be costly. Technology is continually advancing and becoming more effective and efficient. Implementing good refresh best practices can help you find the sweet spot for when to replace hardware before it ends up costing you.
 
These are just a few ways to boost any data center’s efficiency and performance. The important thing is to implement and stick to a plan that suits your goals and needs. For more information on data centers and how you can help your customers build more efficient infrastructure, talk to one of Ingram Micro’s data center experts. Contact Samuel Alt at samuel.alt@ingrammicro.com or Nick Vermiglio at nick.vermiglio@ingrammicro.com