Here’s What Google Can Teach You About Running A Green & Efficient Server Room

Written by Chloe Harwood

A server room is an important part of many a business premises. It’s a location that houses a plethora of expensive and sophisticated IT equipment. One will often find servers, routers, and other network appliances in server rooms.

The thing is; some managers don’t put much thought into server room efficiency or layout. As a result, they could end up using a lot of electricity. And they could even risk overheating due to poor ventilation. Another problem that could rear its ugly head is power distribution. Or, rather, the lack of it!

Does that sound like a familiar set of issues to you? If so, you’re not alone. Did you know you could take a leaf out of Google’s book? There are many things the “Big G” can teach you about server room efficiency. And how to do things the eco-friendly way without running an inefficient operation.

Energy-efficient hardware

These days, it’s possible to buy server-grade hardware that fulfils a variety of purposes. For instance, you could buy equipment that has plenty of processing power. Or you can get last-generation hardware to save on cost.

To increase the efficiency of your server room, you should only use energy-efficient equipment. The purpose of “green” devices is to keep your electricity usage low. They do so in ways that don’t compromise the overall performance offered.

The good news is that many server-grade hardware products are greener nowadays. You just have to make sure you invest in them!

Managed airflow

When you’ve got a plethora of hardware in one room, things will soon heat up after a while. That’s why it is crucial to manage the airflow in your server room.

You might think that installing a lot of fans or air conditioning will combat the problem. But, prevention is better than the cure, as they say!

Consider using thermal imaging cameras to identify the hot spots in your server room. Doing so will mean you can better understand how the air flows around the room. And that gives you the ammo you need to design a better-circulating airflow system.

Improved power distribution

Computer servers, network equipment, and other appliances often use a lot of power. Ask any electrician and they’ll tell you power distribution is critical to a server room. It’s important that power outlets aren’t overloaded.

Another consideration to make is backup power. Like most of their data centers and server rooms, Google uses UPS devices. They provide backup power in case the main power source goes down. For a server room, a modular UPS solution makes sense.

To increase your green credentials, you could follow Google’s method of using renewable energy. If you generate your own electricity, power cuts will be rarer than with grid energy.

Free cooling

One final point to consider is server room cooling. You might not think it. But, many server rooms get cooled using “free” air from the environment around us! The days of needing to install expensive climate control systems are over.

Local conditions will make a big impact on how effective free cooling solutions can be. There are various ways to use the environment to cool down a server room. Examples include water evaporation and thermal reservoirs.

About the author

Chloe Harwood