Go Green / Save Green

letter welcome to ComputerRooms.com – an online forum for presenting and discussing Best Practices for today’s corporate data center professionals.

Greening the data center can actually reduce your budget

Greening the data center can actually reduce your budget

Our team has over 30 years experience in the management of the data center which includes implementing and validating best practices as well as the design of infrastructure and facilities. We hope you, as a data center professional and colleague, return often to this forum to share the latest green research that can actually reduce your budget while [cue the heavenly choir] saving the planet. We welcome your comments, feedback, and best practice contributions to this forum in the coming months.

(signed) Bob Doherty, Editor, ComputerRooms.com | Founder/CEO OMS In Your Data Center, LLC

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Improving the Energy Efficiency of our Nation’s Data Centers

The Better Buildings Challenge, a national initiative led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE), calls on leaders and innovators to significantly improve energy efficiency across the United States. Data Center or ITC organizations can partner with DOE to lead by example as Better Buildings Challenge Partners and commit to reduce the energy used by infrastructure in their entire portfolio of data centers by at least 20% within 10 years and share their results. Alternatively, any organization can become an Accelerator Partner and commit to reduce the energy used by infrastructure in one or more data centers (IT load > 100 kW) by 25% within 5 years. The partnership is voluntary and doesn’t require organizations to share proprietary information.

As a Better Buildings Partner, you will receive the following benefits from the DOE:

National recognition for sharing your progress and innovative energy efficiency solutions with DOE

National visibility through DOE’s website and social media outlets, and invitation to high level events with energy leaders and innovators

Technical support helping you identify metering needs and cost effective energy efficiency opportunities

Training opportunities from the Center of Expertise for Energy Efficiency in Data Centers hosted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL)

Access to a knowledge repository of technology and best practices, training webinars, and peer-to -peer networking opportunities.

Partner with OMS in Your Data Center for more information on the Better Building Partnership and start to save on your Data Center Energy.

Contact Bob Doherty for more information and to express interest for reducing your Data Center’s operating budget.

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PRESS RELEASE – for immediate release


Executive Order mandate Data Center Energy Practitioners (DCEP) be on-site


Executive Order 13693 states that all core data centers, to include existing, new and planned, shall have at least one certified Data Center Energy Practitioner (DCEP), either on-site or centralized, assigned to manage data center performance and continued optimization.”

The DCEP pilot program from the US DOE (2010) was designed to raise the standards of those involved in the energy assessments of data centers. It is driven by the principal that significant knowledge, training, and skills are required to perform data center energy assessments. The DCEP program was developed and implemented in close coordination with industry stakeholders to train a core group of professional energy practitioners and some data center professionals to help reduce their energy demands and accelerate energy savings within data centers.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Industrial Technologies Program awarded Bob Doherty of OMS in Your Data Center certification as a Data Center Energy Practitioners – DCEP,  as part of their pilot program to train and test 100 professionals.

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UPS Maintenance Service Offering

The OMS Team can test and service Uninterruptable Power Systems from desktop individual units to large scale back up systems. We can catalog and track location and performance of each system. Protect one of the most valuable assets in your office – computer hardware and up time.  Prepare for the uncertainty of the winter months as well as hot summer brown-outs by testing and replacing worn battery backup systems proactively.

The OMS team can track down the location and performance of UPS Systems in a home office, a corporate office, in a building, or in the entire company before the lights go out. We will replace worn batteries and dispose of the old ones in a responsible manner. Maintain the level on integrity in your systems that was originally intended by calling for this UPS Maintenance Service Offering .

The life expectancy of a battery is 3 to 5 years.

Be proactive and let our team do what we do best.

Call today for an appointment.

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Thermal Best Practices for Your Data Center

Heat can be a friend in the Data Center

Heat can be a friend in the Data Center

Why thermal considerations? Because ASHRAE TC 9.9 committee has redefined the Data Center.

Heat is your friend.

Initially viewed to be controversial, you should know that the new ASHRAE TC 9.9 guidelines give credible information and standards for the Data Center. There was much collaboration and testing on temperature and humidity. These new operating recommendations represent a “statement of reliability”. That is, ASHRAE proclaims it is safe to operate the Data Center at either extreme of their recommended ranges  without fear for equipment failure or reduced equipment life expectancy.

With that as a brief background, here are my Data Center Thermal Best Practices:

  • Humidity Set Point RH 40 to 60%
  • Temperature Set Point 64.4 to 80.6 F
  • CARC / CRAH  Balancing
  • Maint
  • Commissioning
  • Recommissioning

Once I became aware of the ASHRAE TC 9.9 mission and their Datacom focus, I sought membership and participation. That was  year-long process but I am now a member (non voting) of ASHRAE TC 9.9.

I had been experimenting with a few product designs, power conservation, and trying to determine the density ceiling my Data Centers would tolerate. I also dabbled in testing how particulate matter effected cooling and operation in my Data Centers. The testing I performed in heat density was more aggressive than the new ASHRAE guidelines, so I suggest the new guidelines should work quite well in the Data Center.

ASHRAE TC 9.9 published a 2009 Thermal Guidelines for Data Processing Environments. I recommend this book for Data Center and Facilities staff.

OK, enough background info – here are some Best Practices:

It is OK to turn the heat up to 80.4F – wow! But know that some equipment manufacturers turn up fan speed when they sense increased temperatures. This may increase energy use, so know what your manufacturer’s specifications are. In the meantime, consider turning the temp up to 77F until you know more about your specific equipment.
Send us an E-mail for further discussion on this one – but before you call, know that BobD likes it hot.

There continues to be some work on Humidity and ESD by ASHRAE TC 9.9. In light of this, I caution that you validate there is appropriate access floor grounding, the top surface of the access floor is maintained according to manufacturer’s specifications, the floor laminate is not waxed, and staff make appropriate use of grounding straps. If your Data Center is not equipped with a high efficient centralized humidification system – look into them. Validate that any new system will have multiple sensors deployed throughout the Data Center.

CRACs should work in harmony with each other. If one is humidifying, all should be humidifyins – or cooling. This is best done through automation with a central control system; else it needs to be done manually. Keeping mechanical equipment well maintained and in good, clean operating condition is important. Proactive Maintenance is a must for the health and reliability of your Data Center.

OMS in Your Data Center LLC promotes the need for recommissioning mechanical systems in the Data Center. Depending in utilization, cleanliness, and the maintenance record of you equipment, our recommendation ranges from 3 to 5 year.

Even Microsoft proclaims that ASHRAE is somewhat conservative in Greening the Data Center by opeating at thermal extremes.

Know that it is OK to experiment – test new boundaries. Embrace Data Center Best Practices and keep on monitoring and taking your metrics.

OMS in Your Data Center LLC can take the heat. Send us an e-mail or call to talk about Best Practices.


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Air Blocking and Air Management

Air Management in the Data Center

Don't hide from Air Management in the Data Center

Data Center Best Practices can be a wondrously successful discipline. Knowing how and where to implement best practices, being consistent in doing so, and validating them periodically and consistently will save cash in your data center.

What is Air Blocking?

In simple terms, Air Blocking is managing the separation of hot air from cold air. Cold Air is that critical commodity needed for optimal computer equipment operation and performance. In the Data Center, all cold air should be claimed and directed toward cooling equipment – and only for cooling equipment. Hot Air is that commodity which allows for optimal efficiency in computer room air conditioner (CRAC) unit performance.

So, cold air seems to be a positive thing. That is fairly intuitive for all of us. But now – possibly for the first time ever –  you are hearing  that hot air can also be a good thing! I will leave you to dwell on that concept at your leisure and I will expand on that in upcoming articles, but in the interim here is my short list for Data Center Best Practices for Air Blocking:

  • Blanking Plates
  • Racking Systems w/air management design
  • Access Floor cutout blocking
  • Positive Room Pressure
  • Hot Aisle Cold Aisle
  • Air side economization
  • Damming avoidance
  • Wire Cable Trays
  • Turn up the temperature
  • Get aggressive

Our team has proven consistently that these pragmatic best practices actually do work and actually do reduce your energy budget (and I’m not talking about spending a pound to save a penny either – these are genuine bottom-line savings right from the start). When Air Blocking is implemented consistently, managed properly, and validated consistently you can

  1. reduce the power used for cooling in your Data Center by as much as 30%
  2. double equipment density, and
  3. realize a higher return on precious Data Center real estate.

Of course, this is just an overview. In upcoming articles I will expand on each of these Air Blocking categories with practical applications of each one – as well as more on other Best Practice topics. Stay tuned.

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