Greening the micro data center: It’s just that easy!


In previous posts, I’ve delved into the technologies and techniques of greening the data center, as well as greening the micro data center. Today I’d like talk about a real world example.

This example is about as micro as they come. A single chimney style cabinet, a somewhat outdated Cisco router, a garden variety Gigabit Ethernet switch, a mixed variety of servers (some fairly energy efficient, some not even close), and a mish mash of traditional UPS gear feeding it all.

The first step was to identify which servers would be the largest bang for the buck to replace in terms of both energy efficiency and upgraded capacity. Since there isn’t a budget for total server replacement, I opted for a hybrid configuration.

The second step was to gut and trash the old ineffcient UPS units and replace them with a compact 50A 48VDC rectifier and a string of modern batteries. I also opted for a Peco II inverter. Note that, besides being more energy efficient by far, this combination used less space and weighed far less as well.

The third step was to convert the Cisco router to 48V with an easy power supply conversion. The Ethernet switch was another easy convert. Since it used an external power supply, it was as simple as an inexpensive 48V to 12V converter. The rack vent fan tray was also traded out for a DC version.

All servers to be replaced were equipped with 48V power supplies from the start. The rest of the servers that are being retained are operating from the Peco II inverter until they’re all eventually converted. At that point, the inverter will be removed and the whole installation will be operating at peak efficiency.

Not only did this process increase efficiency and reduce power consumption considerably, it also increased the run time on battery from approximately 20 minutes to 3 hours. So, I improved efficiency, saved money, improved performance and battery run time, and colored everything a lovely shade of green.

And that’s a good thing.

Vern, SwiftWater Telecom

data center, web hosting, Internet engineering

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