by September 6, 2008 0 comments

Managing power consumption is a growing concern in most organizations today.
In many countries the government pays enterprises for each unit of power they
save. And it looks like, that day is not far when India would walk the same
road. Indian organizations also burn a lot of fuel in their data centers to cope
up with power cuts, which in turn increases the power budget in a big way. At
the same time, it also pollutes the environment.

By using a few tricks and some utilities, you can actually save a lot of
power. PCQuest has covered most of these tips in some form or the other in the
recent past. We now bring you all of this in a nutshell.

Monitor power consumption
First things first: To solve any problem you need to understand the problem. To
save power, first you need to identify parts of your datacenter that consume lot
of power, so that you can determine the best course of action after that. For
this, you could also either spend lakhs and buy equipment that will measure the
power. Or you could purchase a few digital wattmeters. These can cost you a few
thousand bucks and are easily available from an electronic meters shop.

Get going
Do a site survey by connecting the wattmeter to different devices such as
CRT/LCD monitors, workstations, servers, racks, printers, switches, and check
which device consumes how much power. Then see if you can replace any of these
devices with others that consume lesser power. For instance, check whether it
would really help to replace some CRTs with LCDs or some old rack mountable
servers to blades, etc. We did the same survey in our own office and figured out
some interesting facts. To know more, visit http://forums.pcquest. com under
Green IT thread.

Logging consumption
Once you have reviewed the power consumption of different devices, it becomes
important to keep an eye on the periodic consumption of power for some of them.
For instance, what is the power consumption pattern of your rack server for
given period of time? Such kind of historical data would help in analyzing the
power consumption pattern in an enterprise. With its help we can analyze when
and why the surges in graph are happening and then one can work on it to
smoothen those surges. For doing this, many devices are available. Raritan
Dominion PX, reviewed PCQ June 2008, is one such device. It remotely
manages/controls power over IP, and now also supports monitoring and logging
power consumption for all outlets.

Managing consumption
Once you are through with monitoring, managing consumption is the next logical
step. The best place to save power is by cutting the power supply where it’s not
required. Did you know that a CRT monitor when switched off still consumes
around 5W of power? A standard power extension board eats up around 2 to 5 watts
depending on its wattage and the number of plug points it has. Just imagine how
much power would be wasted if a person leaves his workstation on for the whole
night? Well, the solution is pretty simple, there’s a software called Prof
Shutdown that can turn off machines at a given time if no one is working on it.
Such software can save you a lot on your electricity bills. Similarly, devices
like Smart Power Strip, html, can be used to
save on idle current, which means if any device is not in a running state, this
power strip will recognise it and power off the socket, thereby saving current.

There are a lot of other ways to save power innovatively and we are working
and researching on it. You can also join us in this effort by sharing your
experiences on our online forum

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