Benchmarking Energy Usage

Energy usage varies between data centers. Benchmarking practices attempt to measure energy usage, provide quantitative figures, and create a roadmap for improvement. Houston data centers can seek to understand their electrical loads and benchmark those numbers over time. Even though the industry is working to improve existing systems and create better ones, business owners can immediately improve their own energy usage while lowering costs.

Houston data centers make it easy for business owners to understand power usage by providing insight intocustomized power options. One way a business owner can evaluate power usage is to determine the peak load that their equipment may face. For instance, an online retailer expects a spike in traffic in December. Identifying December power usage is helpful to identifying power usage during the rest of the year, which will probably be much lower.

Some additional ways to evaluate power usage and costs:

•  A company can enable instruments that sub-meter their actual energy usage. Over time, they can compare these measures to other variables and discover patterns.

•  Develop a case study. This case study is a day in the life of thecompany’s infrastructure. A case study extrapolates the data to give the business a forecast for the future. Italso illuminates the difference in power usage between the original design and the actual load in the specific time period. In this way, a company can manage expectations and there will be no surprises.

•  Virtual hands is a service whereby data center engineers and technicians assist a company with varying deployment and maintenance tasks. Engineers can develop benchmarking protocols to enable a company to evaluate power usage.

•  A company can develop a database of their own energy usage and compare it to other systems inside the same facility in order to develop areas of improvement and action strategies.

Energy Metrics  
Data centers traditionally use a metric ofkW/sq. ft., (kilowatts per square foot), to describeelectrical loads. However, square footage at a data center is not the same as a regular building. This space may have raised floors, areas under the server racks, and HCAV equipment occupying other space. In a data center, the kW/sq. ft. is not necessarily straightforward.

Alternatively, another metric to describe electrical loads is Kw/rack, (kilowatts per rack).This metric may provide a more consistent measure of load intensity and actual performance.


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