For years I've been preaching that the road to having an efficient datacenter begins at home. Sure, there are lots of cool and exciting products appearing on an almost daily basis that promise massive impact on the overall efficiency of your datacenter, but the truth has always been that evaluating the current operational efficiency and applying some basic tricks and techniques, along with inexpensive modifications, can result in a much improved bottom line in the operational costs of your facility.
QTS, the operator of more than 3,000,000 square feet of datacenter space, recently figured out this fundamental truth. After a pilot program in its Miami datacenter, it decided to deploy 60,000 blanking panels, free to their customers, throughout its datacenter enterprise. Blanking panels are basically a flat panel that is used to fill in the holes in server racks in order to keep the airflow within (or without) the rack to allow the datacenter cooling system to operate at its most efficient level.
Think about this for a second: 60,000 blanking panels that are so inexpensive that they can be provided to the customer for free and that will more than pay for themselves in energy savings. And this is from a datacenter operator that has been receiving awards and certifications for building energy-efficient facilities for the last few years.
Now the question that has to be asked:. Are you using blanking panels in your datacenters? And if you aren't, why not?