Datacenter energy savings need a holistic approach and good information

Making your datacenter a more effective, efficient environment is your goal; make sure that vendor's make it theirs, as well.
Written by David Chernicoff, Contributor

With a large number of industry announcements going on and a sudden rash of meetings with vendors, a couple facts have become very clear regarding power saving and green devices.  The first is that everyone has gone green; it's enough of a buzzword now that every product has a checkbox line that talks about how they are greener than the competition.

The second is actually the important part; not every vendor seems to understand that their products aren't operated in a vacuum. Well, to be honest, they all understand that they don't provide the only product in the datacenter, bit only a few seem to have taken the step to understanding that it's not just what their product saves in the way of energy, but how their product interacts with the rest of the datacenter environment that will define its success at being an energy efficient device.  So this would be my open letter to vendors of datacenter hardware.

Point One: if your product requires changing the way that an existing data center works, whether structurally or operationally, it is unlikely to be adopted by existing data center operators.  Data center folks are a very conservative bunch, and regardless of how great your hardware does its specific task, if it can't be easily integrated it won't draw much support from exiting data center facilities. If you target market is greenfield development, then make that clear.

Point Two: Moving the workload may make your device more efficient, but it doesn't reduce the overall energy requirement of the datacenter. For example, the environment outside your equipment rack will still need to deal with whatever waste heat is being rapidly removed from your devices.

Point Three: If your solution replaces or reduces the amount of equipment used in a facility, that is a strong point that you should lead with, not bury in your briefing. As modular datacenters become more prevalent, equipment that reduces the number of physical boxes that have to be supported will move way up the buyer's candidate list. Why? Because they will have more options in configuring their modules thanks to space your device might have freed up for them.

Point Four: Words have meanings. If you change the way you interpret something to meet your own needs and it doesn't match up with what the rest of the industry is doing, you do yourself and your customer a disservice.  Make up a new word, if you must, but don't attempt to twist an existing description to meet a product it just doesn't fit.

Point Five: Talk about how your product plays well with others. Let us know that you've taken the other operations in the datacenter in account and you make your claims based on this knowledge. The over impact on the efficiencies of the customer's datacenter is what the customer wants to know

Communication is the key, and getting the vendor and the customer on the same page makes everyone's life a bit easier.

Editorial standards