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Increasing Data Center Efficiency with Server Power Measurements

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Increasing Data Center Efficiency with Server Power Measurements

Executive Overview: Intel IT defined methods for analyzing computing energy efficiency within our design computing environment, using measurements of actual server power consumption and utilization. We used these methods to identify trends and opportunities for improving data center efficiency, and to implement a pilot project that increased data center computing capacity.

Most efforts to measure and increase data center efficiency have been focused at the facilities level. However, we can also obtain significant benefits by employing server-level measurements to analyze and increase computing efficiency. Improvements at this level can enable us to expand data center capacity, reduce capital expenditure, reduce operational power and cooling costs, and scale compute and facility power consumption in proportion to the actual work done. We undertook several initiatives, including:
• Defining a computing energy-efficiency metric that reflects server performance/watt in design computing production use.
• Using this metric, together with measurements of server power consumption and utilization, to analyze computing energy efficiency across all servers in an Intel data center containing four server generations.
• Identifying efficiency improvements associated with server refresh.
• Identifying opportunities to reduce power and cooling costs without negatively impacting Intel product design workload throughput. Our analysis of computing efficiency has already delivered benefits, enabling us to add capacity at a data center location that we previously thought was power-constrained. We plan to use these methods at other data centers, and we are continuing to build on our work with proof of concept (PoC) projects that explore the energy efficiency opportunities we have identified.

Read the full Data Center Efficiency Paper.