One thing is certain when it comes to green data center power: phase load balancing, power distribution and stranded power have much to do with each other. As data centers become bigger and more companies deploy data centers of their own, the old way of connecting to data center power is as antiquated as a rotary phone.
A recent Server Technology (News - Alert) whitepaper
states that the way data center administrators consider their circuits has changed because many circuits are either being under-used or overused, which is causing some disruption in load-balancing
Administrators are beginning to think harder about how much power the devices in their data centers use as power is often being “stranded” and could be better put to use elsewhere. If a device’s power usage is determined only during peak data center power use times, the numbers administrators use to determine how much data center power they need is likely inaccurate. The power use needs to measure often to get a better handle on how much power is being stranded and if loads are balanced correctly.
In terms of load balancing, it takes some finessing to bring it into proper proportions
. Knowing how much data center power is used by any given device throughout the day is a tricky variable. Easier to see are low levels of consumption versus high levels of consumption between upstream and downstream devices. What is perhaps more important when considering load balancing is to look at what data center power is being drawn through each individual line and circuit.
Finding a way around stranding power is also an important part of provisioning data center power. When a device that administrators believe needs a large circuit
doesn’t actually use the all the power that has been assigned to the circuit, power is being stranded. While it is important to have the power in reserve necessary for a device that will need it, even if it’s one a limited basis, it’s also important not to reserve too much power to the circuit.
Administrators shouldn’t have to guess how much data center power is being used on any given device. Proper monitoring and thorough billing reports as well as attention to usage trends should provide the evidence needed to stay on top of data center power issues and will prevent power from becoming stranded. Using power calculators, administrators can determine the amount of power every cabinet in the data center requires.
The accurate approach to data center power estimates not only ensures proper operation, it also helps to eliminate waste and maintain a healthy budget over the long-term.
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Edited by Rachel Ramsey