Three Ways to Drive Down Data Center Energy Cost


As increased wholesale prices and global current events drive energy prices to record highs, energy efficiency has become a popular conversation among data center managers. I am often asked what can be done to drive down power requirements and lower energy cost. My answer is that energy efficiency is a multi-pronged approach and consideration should be given to everything from efficient hardware to overall infrastructure such as cooling, consolidation, among others. In addition to a holistic strategy around data center energy reduction, here are three actions which can influence an efficient outcome and lower energy bill:

Enable Power Management

At Dell Technologies, we integrate industry standard and vendor specific power management features into how we design our PowerEdge portfolio to help reduce energy consumption. With the Dell BIOS and integrated Dell remote access controller (iDRAC), you have control over the server’s power consumption. These built-in features help:

    • Reduce power consumption at run-time via demand-based power management where performance is balanced to workload. An example of this is CPU Performance States (P-States).
    • Minimize power consumption during IDLE period when there is no active workload, such as CPU C-states and DDR5 self-refresh.
    • Save energy costs as power consumption is reduced over time when there are opportunities.

Minimize Stranded Power  

Power and cooling equipment are significant investments in a data center and not fully utilizing their capacity is a poor return on investment. To make matters worse, cooling systems are less efficient when not highly utilized. Dell offers online tools and features integrated into platforms to help you rescue power stranded in your data center.

    • PSU portfolio, with wide range of capacities, enables PSU Right Sizing to avoid stranding power in your server, as many data centers allocate power based on PSU label rating.
    • Fault Tolerant Redundancy enables more aggressive PSU Right Sizing by utilizing the capacity of the redundant PSU during normal operation.
    • Dell iDRAC provides input power and current limiting features to enable PSU Right Sizing based on typical instead of worst-case workload while being protected if any unexpected excursions occur.
    • Open Manage Enterprise (OME) Power Manager Plug-in (PMP) supports group level input power and current (future release) limiting to maximize compute density within the data center’s rack power limit thus minimizing stranded power at the rack level.

Eliminate Zombies and Ghosts

The ghost servers can create unintentional electricity consumption as they sit on the rack unused but still connected. Further, there is the matter of the space that they take up. The problem is that administrators are not compelled to check for energy use at the individual server level, so they are not always aware that zombie servers exist. Dell OME PMP can help identify both unused and underused servers and create immediate…

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