Your biggest expense is power. Do you know where your power is going? Knowing details about your energy allocation can help you understand the overall health and efficiency of your data center.One of the areas we focus on with our clients is developing situational awareness about exactly where and when the kilowatt-hours (kWh) are being used. This information helps data center operators know what they are paying for and where they can gain efficiencies. Often, actual energy usage is not visible at a granular level in real-time but is instead measured only at a high level and is summarized or estimated over days, weeks, or months. As a result, a complete understanding of electrical power use is never achieved. In addition to energy being wasted unnecessarily, capacity is sometimes left un-allocated or stranded. Today, we will be focusing on co-location data centers and why stranded power is money left on the table.
Finding the Leaks
Water Leaks hold the #1 spot for data center downtime, but "Energy Leaks" are constantly being overlooked. This power leak is invisible to data centers with limited or poorly implemented Electrical Power Management Systems (EPMS) or EPMS systems that are disassociated with the IT assets. As a result, data centers fail to measure the energy that tenants are using and consequently fail to bill for all of their power consumption. With limited or disconnected EPMS systems, you are missing out on critical data and potential revenue.The theory sounds good, but what about real-life examples? On a recent project, Casne helped a customer identify an unaccounted-for 200 KW of power, $0.013 per kWh, which came out to $200 k per year. During this process, we reviewed the data center’s energy portfolio of the data center assets. It was determined that 1.5% of the data center’s power was un-allocated which aligned with the average 1-5% unidentified power usage in data centers. We then worked with the clients to identify all accounting of power usage. Casne integrated data from the customer’s asset management system and the data center’s power usage to create real-time data for each of the customer’s co-location client’s power usage.
When problems like this arise, the first step is to find the leaks. This could be un-allocated circuits consuming power, servers using more energy than expected, or equipment showing signs of failure. Any of these things could be going on without your team’s knowledge if you do not have a fully integrated system. With a fully integrated system, leaks can be found and then identified. Your team will be able to “balance the energy books” and see that all energy coming into the different systems is identified and allocated.
Managing Power Usage
After data acquisition comes asset management. It's great to not just know how much power you are consuming, but to truly understand who or what is consuming the power is key. Your team can then bill for the un-billed revenue, install more efficient equipment, and find sales opportunities. All of these will make your data center more efficient with accurate, real-time data.
With Casne’s customer able to see power usage by each co-location client, they could keep track of the open space available on each circuit. Like many data centers, Casne’s client had two circuits for each rack and filled each circuit up to 50% of its space. This fail-over plan protected Casne’s customer from having any downtime if one circuit were to fail. Casne’s clients were able to verify and track that the fail-over system was in place.
The data made available shows trends in power usage, which will help you make decisions around management of when power is most needed and when certain systems can use less power. For example, the data our customers see shows trends in how equipment is running. If a piece of equipment is constantly needing more power or repair, the trends will help your company prepare for replacement purchases in the future with little surprises.
Finding New Business Opportunities
With accurate, real-time data, your team can run reports to see where new business opportunities may exist. You’ll see which customers are consuming more than their contracted amount and respond with a contract that better suits their needs. Reports will also show which companies have “extra space in their tanks” that can be better used. Once these issues are identified, actions can be taken to improve the bottom line.
We all know power is the data center's number one expense. It's here that Casne can make the most impact on a growing expense budget. By locating and correcting different types of "Energy Leaks" it is possible to save money on increasing utility costs and find new business opportunities from real-time data.
Every Situation is Unique
You care about accurately accounting for energy, and billing customers to maximize revenue. Accounting for all energy used properly can be one of the most profitable things you do this year. While your competitors are slashing budgets, you are growing the top line. Don’t let the promises of a one size fits all solution fool you into a system that won’t respond to your unique needs.
You are also very busy and need a partner you trust to support finding a solution to your energy power costs. That’s where we come in. Casne has the unique knowledge you need to know the best solution for your data center. We are efficient in creating full documentation of your systems. Let us apply our experience and help you. Our team has 1,000s of hours of data center experience to apply for immediate benefit. Connect with Mike Clutter (email@example.com) to learn how Casne can identify your energy leaks.