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Data centers currently consume about 2 percent of the combined energy in the United States. In the federal government, the percentage of energy consumption rises to 10 percent, which has led to lawmakers initiating new bills for energy efficiency in data centers. With new bills supporting energy efficiency, federal agencies operating data centers must focus on how to reduce their energy consumption and increase energy savings.
Becoming more energy efficient starts with data center initiatives focusing on energy saving methods. A method data centers already have implemented is the consolidations of data centers. Trends to consolidate data centers encourage the drive forward to energy efficiency across industries. Consolidating data centers further promotes other methods to increase the energy efficiency of data centers, such as energy benchmarking.
Benchmarking energy efficiency stems from measuring the ratios of data centers’ energy consumption. Two means of measuring the benchmarks of the data center include the temperature and air. Variations in temperature can lead to lower costs, while the air circulation indicates the amount of additional filtered air needed to supply the data servers. Federal agencies, including the National Center for Atmospheric Research, utilize the climate related benchmarks to improve their facilities and operate with more energy efficiency.
IT supervisors in data centers have the leverage to ensure the future of more efficient data centers. By identifying and resolving energy issues in their data centers, the IT managers will be able to pass along their insight to ensure other data centers can achieve energy efficient goals. Promoting energy efficient goals can also help IT managers prove their value by reducing costs of operation.
Aside from IT managers, federal agencies encourage the development of energy efficient strategies in data centers. Significant contributions from federal agencies include innovative methods to transfer physical data centers into virtualized centers. Virtual centers, such as the cloud, provide a means for federal agencies to store data without the hindrance of high energy costs. Agency’s do not fully rely on the cloud models, because the cloud needs additional tools to operate smoothly.
Networking in a cloud setting may provide the link federal agencies need to refine cloud issues. Added features, such as advanced network software, could enhance the performance of the cloud system. However, the federal agencies still need time to refine their cloud world. The needed solutions for cloud data center environments reflect the future battle federal agencies will need to face in order to gain effective energy efficiency.
A final aspect of federal agencies clearing the path to energy efficient data centers focuses on disaster recovery. While disaster recovery is essential in data centers, the applications can be provided without a major strain on the data centers’ energy. Still, monitoring the applications of disaster recovery could indicate variations in the data centers’ productivity. As more issues arise in making data centers more energy efficient, federal agencies will have to continue to create solutions to meet goals and reduce energy costs in their data centers to in turn help other data centers across federal and commercial industries.