Monitoring Data Centre Power Usage

The global data centre market has seen unparalleled growth in recent years, and has seen power usage grow enormously.  In 2007 the global data centre market consumed 12Gw by last year (2014) this figure had risen to 38Gw!

As competition in the data centre market grows, it will be those that offer a competent service and offer accurate accountability for variables like power cost, and power consumption that will be most competitive.

With the introduction of the Carbon Reduction Scheme the need to become more energy efficient will only increase. But, before companies can make savings they have to be able to measure usage and identify areas where cost savings can be made. With so many power monitoring solutions on the market where do you start?  Some companies opt for the easy option of monitoring power at the distribution board level, which is relatively simple to do by installing an Energy Meter; these can normally be installed without the need to down any equipment.  Whilst an Energy Meter at distribution level will inform you how much power you are consuming on that board, it will not help you to identify areas that are using too much power or where cost savings can be made.

With the use of smart technology a far more effective solution is to take the granular approach and measure the power consumption of each piece of equipment. There are many products on the market that can facilitate this, from power monitoring clamps and inline meters to wireless power monitoring devices that form their own network.  But by far the most popular means is the intelligent PDU.  With so many brands on the market how do you choose the right power monitoring solution for your organisation?

A lot of today’s intelligent PDUs offer similar features such as power monitoring over the entire PDU or down to individual outlets. Most will provide remote switching enabling you to remotely turn on, off or cycle the power to a particular piece of equipment. Whilst others can also incorporate environmental monitoring to measure temperature, humidity and other conditions, some also have impressive software to interpret all of this information. So how do you choose?

If you need to provide accurate billing of energy usage, you need to be able to monitor down to an individual piece of equipment so outlet monitoring is going to be a requirement. Not only will this provide you with accurate billing costs, but will also highlight equipment with poor performance that could indicate impending equipment failure or equipment that needs to be upgraded first.

If you’re just happy to know how much power is being consumed at a rack level then purchasing a PDU with individual outlet monitoring on is an expense that you needn’t occur, simply purchase a PDU that only has overall power monitoring.

You also need to consider that some of these PDUs have software that requires a high capital outlay and often annual licence fees as well. Then there’s the question of the outlets themselves IEC C13, C19, 3-pin. How many of each? Do you need the added security of having locking IEC connectors?

All of this highlights the need to have a power monitoring solution that can be as flexible as possible, to match your requirements to make your data centre more energy efficient. To help with this EDP Europe offers a range of power monitoring solutions, including our own range of custom built intelligent PDUs that can be built to match your exact requirements.

If you’re looking to incorporate power monitoring contact us today to assess the best solution for you.

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