Server Room Energy Consumption

17 Sep

Every month we receive an energy bill and we think, “How can the energy consumption be that much?!”  The second thought is, “How can we reduce the amount of energy we are consuming?”

serverroomEarlier this year we were able to identify equipment in our server room which was contributing to the overall energy consumption.  We were in need of updating our main server – so we looked a step further to see how we could also reduce our energy costs while meeting the requirements we had set forth for the new server.  After considerable analysis, we opted to acquire a new Dell server which would allow for future expansion and allow us to continue our Virtualization initiative.  With VMware we have been able to simplify our server hardware requirements and increase infrastructure efficiency.  By implementing VMware, we have increased overall utilization of our servers since we can load multiple operating systems on one physical server allowing us to take advantage of the hardware capabilities.  The virtualization initiative has also reduced capital and operating expenses, minimized potential lost revenue due to downtime, outages and failures.

Prior to cutting over to VMware we had multiple physical servers running in our server room producing heat and drawing energy every day. With the acquisition of the new server built to support virtualization, we were able to reduce the amount of physical servers from four (4) to one (1) server.  Our server room cooling costs have been reduced drastically because the amount of heat one efficient server puts out is considerably less than our four (4) old servers which were 6 plus years old.  Here is the quick math on cost avoidance.

  • Electricity to run old inefficient servers (3 physical server reduction)
    • A 350W server running 24/7 would directly consume 3,066 kWh of electricity annually.
      • At the current WE Energy price average of $0.126/kWh cost ~ $386.32
  • 3 servers cost $1,158.96 per year
  • Annual savings on physical server energy consumption $772.64 this is a 66% energy savings.
  • Air Conditioning
    • The cost avoidance relating to AC is difficult to pinpoint exactly. However, the cost of cooling the server room has also been reduced because the AC unit is cooling one efficient Dell server instead of 4 servers.

In conclusion, continuing our virtualization initiative has not only improved our server performance, infrastructure efficiency and decreased capital cost – it has also allowed us to reduce our monthly energy cost.


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