The first thing you need to do is get rid of all the unused cables beneath the suspended computer room floor. This is one of the oldest and greatest problems for computer rooms. The unused cables have not just been collecting dust under your floor – they’ve also been creating an effective air-block that doesn’t let the air flow down there. Plus they also make for very messy server rooms, because usually you’ve also got a significant amount of power and other communications cabling down there too. You might even need a computer room raised floor smoke detector installation.
The next thing you need to do is properly arrange your equipment into hot and cold isles. This will help significantly. The containment of hot isles will also help in areas where blade servers or other “very hot” equipment is in use. Also ensure that you have data center cooling rack enclosures and blanking panels in place in all empty cabinets so that you’re not wasting the energy to cool nothing. By properly managing the air flow in your server room, you will save a significant amount of energy, which turns into money.
You may also want to seriously consider virtualization, which will give you another boost in savings. If you take a look at the power consumption of a chip, from 0-50% utilization, power use is almost linear. But when you go up to 50-75%, there is small incremental power consumption. Over the past couple of years virtualization has gotten quite advanced and mature, which makes it a very viable solution to server consolidation.
And finally, properly provisioning your power can have a huge effect. If you add up the tags on the back of the power supplies to do this, you are probably working in overkill mode. The numbers on the tags are always the worst case and vary depending on the manufacturer. Chances are, you’re really only using about 1/3-1/2 that amount.
Power is expensive! That’s why some companies are really going the extra mile (pun intended) and moving their entire data centers to areas where power is the cheapest. That must tell us something about power costs!