PTS: Blog

Free Data Center Assessment Tools from the Department of Energy.

It certainly shows where we are at in this country when the Government is creating free tools to help us access our efficiency and giving us guidance on how to improve our Data Center Efficiency. What choice does the DoE have with the rising demand for power from our Data Centers expected to be 10% of the total US demand for power by 2011 while we have a growing need to reduce our carbon footprint & demand on fossil fuels.

In my opinion, a couple areas of caution are warranted in the use of these free tools. First the tool is free, but you still have to have the means to collect the data to enter into the tool, details about the power consumption of your equipment & whether the equipment can be controlled, utility bills, temperature readings at rack inlet & on supply return, airflow readings, etc. The presentation & guidance suggests that we can use air side & water side economizers, decrease our airflow, raise our water temperature & set points for supply side air without even discussing the impacts this could have on availability? The guidance for use of the tools discusses the use of thermography or CFD, but treats it as a suggested option in our analysis of improving DCiE while we are raising temperatures & decreasing airflow. These tools do present value & they are free. I just wish our Government would have stressed the tools limitations & cautioned users on other considerations that must be factored, such as the availability requirements of your Data Center.