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Planning & Optimising the Green IT Datacentre: Design, Operation & Management Best Practices, Technologies & Challenges Pierre Ketteridge, IP Performance Ltd. Green IT Business Transformation Seminar. Introduction. Yes! Of course… …but only with careful planning, design and management!.

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Planning & Optimising the Green IT Datacentre: Design, Operation & Management Best Practices, Technologies & ChallengesPierre Ketteridge, IP Performance Ltd

Green IT Business Transformation Seminar



Yes! Of course…

…but only with careful planning, design

and management!



  • The direct carbon impact (ie Carbon Footprint) of Data Centres on the environment is almost exclusively related to power consumption
  • Data Centres do not (when properly designed and managed) vent hot air or polluting gases into the atmosphere – cooling should be a ‘closed system’
  • There may be indirect carbon impacts through staffing levels, travel to and from site, operational maintenace and housekeeping


15% of business power consumption is

accounted for by Data Centres & ICT…









…Lighting accounts for 1-3%,

dependent on whether LO operation

is implemented or not

cooling falls into two categories air cooling liquid water cooling


Cooling falls into two categories:

Air Cooling

Liquid (water) Cooling

air cooling

Cooling> Air Cooling

Air Cooling

The traditional way of cooling a Data Centre Computer Room:

CRAC (Computer Room Air Conditioner)

Water Chiller

Cold Aisle/Hot Aisle Configuration

inherent limitations of crac based air cooling systems

Cooling> Air Cooling

Inherent limitations of CRAC-based Air Cooling Systems:

CRAC capacity needs to be 30% greater than the actual demand

Limitations in cooling (5kW – 7kW per rack)

N+1 active equipment resilience/redundancy drives efficiency of cooling system down further

some easy to implement air cooling optimisation suggestions

Cooling> Air Cooling

Some Easy-to-Implement Air Cooling Optimisation Suggestions:

Hot Aisle/Cold Aisle Arrangement

Cold Aisle Containment

Blanking Panels

Raised Floor Brush Strips

Underfloor, Inter- and Intra-rack Cable Management

Free Air Cooling


Cooling> Air Cooling> Hot Aisle/Cold Aisle

  • With no hot aisle/cold aisle
  • arrangement, returning heated
  • air mixes with the CRAC-cooled
  • air and cooling to the DC CR
  • equipment is impaired. There is
  • also the issue of bypass cold
  • airflow, which can impact chiller
  • operation.
  • With a hot aisle/cold aisle arrangement, chilled air is forced out into the front-of-cabinet facing cold aisles, across the equipment surface, and warm air is channeled out into the rear-of-cabinet facing hot aisle for return to the chiller/CRAC.

Cooling> Air Cooling> Hot Aisle/Cold Aisle

  • Ineffective positioning of CRACs impair the
  • airflow around the DC CR.
  • CRACs along the side walls are too close to the
  • equipment racks, and will cause the airflow to
  • bypass the floor vents in those cold aisles.
  • Place cooling units at the end of the equipment
  • rows, not mid-row.
  • CRACs should be aligned with the hot aisles to prevent hot/cold aisle airflow crossover, which apart from increasing the temperature of air supply to the rack fronts but also can trigger the cooling unit to throttle back, reducing cooling overall.
  • Limit maximum cooling unit throw distance to 50'
separation of high density racks

Cooling> Air Cooling> Hot Aisle/Cold Aisle

Separation of High-density Racks

  • Air cooling systems become ineffective
  • when high-density racks are co-located
  • “Borrowing” of adjacent rack cooling
  • capacity is not possible in this
  • configuration
  • An alternative (other than self-contained
  • cooling) is to spread out high-density
  • racks to maintain the cooling averages
  • Obviously this is not always practical –
  • witness the prevalance of blade server and
  • virtualisation technologies – two to five
  • times the per rack power draw of
  • traditional servers

Cooling> Air Cooling> Cold Aisle Containment

ColdAisle Containment

  • Very simple to deploy / Retrofit
  • Hot and cold aisles physically separated
  • Greater watts per rack approx 10kW
  • Over sizing of the CRAC is reduced
  • CRAC efficiency is increased due to a higher delta T
  • CRAC fan speed can be reduced which provides:
    • - Reduced running costs
    • - Increased MTBF

Cooling> Air Cooling> Blanking Panels

  • Reduction and stabilization of equipment air-intake temperatures
  • • Elimination or reduction of the number and severity of hotspots
  • • Increased availability, performance, and reliability of IT equipment, especially in the top one-third of the equipment cabinet

• Elimination of exhaust air recirculation within the cabinet, optimising cooling and reducing energy consumption and OpEx

• Deferral of CapEx (additional cooling capacity)

• The potential of greening the data center by reducing its carbon footprint

raised floor brush grommets

Cooling> Air Cooling> Raised Floor Brush Strips

Raised Floor Brush Grommets
  • Cable openings allow approx. 60%
  • of conditioned air to escape
  • Use brush grommets to seal every
  • cabling entry point
  • Increases static pressure in the
  • under-floor plenum - ensures that
  • the DC airflow remains at a
  • pressure above atmospheric
  • Extend reach of Hot Aisle/Cold Aisle
  • system
  • Self-sealing and interwoven closure system
  • Brush grommets can be installed as DC is commissioned, or retro-fitted
  • No changes to existing wiring configuration
  • Fits into the raised floor tiles prior to cabinet installation
  • Simple
  • Inexpensive
cable management intra rack inter rack and underfloor

Cooling> Air Cooling> Cable Management

Cable Management – Intra-rack, Inter-rack and underfloor
  • Airflow within racks is also affected by unstructured cabling arrangements
  • Deployment of high-density servers creates new problems in cable management
  • Cut data cables and power cords to the correct length – use patch panels where appropriate
  • Equipment power should be fed from rack-mounted PDUs
  • Raised floor/subfloor plenum ducting carries other services apart from airflow:
    • Data cabling, power cabling, water pipes/fire detection & extinguishing systems
  • Remove unnecessary or unused cabling - old cabling is often abandoned beneath the floor – particularly in high churn/turnover Co-Lo facilities
  • Spread power cables out on the subfloor - under the cold aisle to minimize airflow restrictions
  • Run subfloor data cabling trays at the stringer level in the hot aisle - or at an “upper level” in the cold aisle, to keep the lower space free to act as the cooling plenum
budgetary example projected cost of running the system for a year

Cooling> Air Cooling> Free Air Cooling

Budgetary Example – Projected Cost of Running the System for a Year
  • Not using the Free Cooler
  • Chiller Capacity 150 kW
  • Energy needed to run the chiller 62 kW
  • Numbers of Hours running per year 8784
  • Cost per kWh £0.0784
  • Total Cost of Running per Year £42,697.00
  • 100% free cooling 70% of the year
  • Chiller capacity 150 kW
  • Energy needed to run the chiller 62 kW
  • Numbers of hours running per year 2580
  • Cost per kWh £0.0784
  • Cost of running the chiller £12,540.00
  • Cost of running Free Cooling (10.4kw) £ 5,058.00
  • Total Cost of Running per Year £17,599.00

Cooling> Liquid Cooling

High Density Data Centres and Liquid Cooling

  • When going above 10kW per rack a new, more targeted/directed cooling method is required
  • Most common methods is Water Cooling
so what is liquid or water cooling

Cooling> Liquid Cooling

So What is Liquid – or Water – Cooling?
  • Delivery of chilled water to multiple heat exchange points from a central unit
  • The central unit circulates water from the buildings existing chilled water loop
  • Heat exchange units in rear doors (one per cabinet, capacity 30kW) or side doors (2 x dual cabinet resilience, 2 x 15kW)
  • Heat is carried away in the water - air is ejected back out into the DC at the same temperature it entered the rack - zero thermal footprint
why use water cooling

Cooling> Liquid Cooling

Why Use Water Cooling?
  • Water 3,500 times more thermally efficient than air
  • Air cooling only delivers 5-7kW of cooling per rack (10kW with hot aisle/cold aisle arrangement)
  • High Density DCs place increasing power and thermal control demands on the infrastructure
  • Blade servers - up to 80 servers in a standard 42u cabinet – and anything from 80 to 800 virtual machines!
  • Fully-loaded blade server rack can produce 25Kw of heat
  • Water Cooling can deliver 30kW of cooling to a fully-loaded 42u rack
adding the benefits of free cooling some capex opex implications of water cooling

Cooling> Liquid Cooling

Adding the benefits of Free Cooling, some CapEx/OpEx implications of Water Cooling:
  • Water cooling has a slightly higher install cost (more terminations/ pipe work)…but greater kW per sq ft gives us…
    • 35-45%reduction in required real estate
    • 15-30%reduction lower in overall construction costs
    • 10-20%reduction on total annual fan power consumption
    • 12-14%reduction in power delivered to mechanical chilled water plant
  • For an average efficiency data centre, annual savings of £22,000 and £80,000 for small and large data centres respectively
  • Significant when the design life of the data centre is 10 years
  • Reduction in energy is a reduction in costs and also a reduction in your carbon footprint
active equipment networking

Network Components

Active Equipment (Networking)
  • Switches
  • Routers
  • Appliances
    • Load balancers
    • Caching/Proxying
    • Bandwidth Management
    • Application Acceleration & Optimisation
data centre switch requirements

Network Components> Ethernet LAN Switches

Data Centre Switch Requirements
  • Port density
  • Performance
  • Functionality
  • Feature set
  • Resilience/Redundancy
  • Security
  • Price
  • Power consumption/Heat output

Feeds & Speeds


data centre switch requirements1

Network Components

Network Components> Ethernet LAN Switches

Data Centre Switch Requirements
  • High port density per chassis
  • Low power consumption
    • Availability
    • High performance
    • Low latency

Optimised for the environment

Optimised for the application


Network Components

Network Components> Ethernet LAN Switches

ethernet switch power consumption a comparative example 15 000 user network

Network Components

Network Components> Ethernet LAN Switches

Ethernet Switch Power Consumption - A Comparative Example: 15,000 User Network
  • Across an installed network base of 15,000 ports, it was possible to save 102 kW/h, resulting in:
  • Lower Power Consumption
  • Less Cooling Equipment
  • Smaller Batteries
  • Smaller Data Centers

Network Components> WAN Routers

  • Look at power consumption figures/thermal output
  • Deploy shared WAN architecture – MPLS, VPLS, IP VPNs
  • Investigate leveraging and integrating bandwidth optimisation and application acceleration technologies
lan wan optimisation appliances

Network Components> Appliances> Load Balancing

LAN/WAN Optimisation Appliances
  • …an area where we can make a difference, in the way in which technologies are deployed to optimise LAN/WAN bandwidth usage and availability of back-end servers.
  • An excellent example would be application delivery, traffic management and web server load balancers:
  • High Performance through acceleration techniques
  • High Availability
more lan wan optimisation options

Network Components> Appliances> DPI Bandwidth Management

More LAN/WAN Optimisation Options…

DPI Bandwidth Management solutions:

  • Inspection, Classification, Policy Enforcement and Reporting on all traffic:
    • Identification - application signature, TCP/UDP port, protocol, source/destination IP addresses, URL
    • Classification – CoS/ToS (IP Prec/Diffserv CodePoint/DSCP); user-defined QoS policy
    • Enforcement based on user-defined policy
    • Reporting – RT and long-term – extremely valuable for SLAs/SLGs in DC environments
lan wan optimisation options cont d

Network Components> Appliances> WAN Optimisation

LAN/WAN Optimisation Options (cont’d)

WAN optimisation and application acceleration:

  • Usually deployed as a reverse proxy device
  • Provides some form of bandwidth management
  • Protocol optimisation – making LAN protocols more latency-tolerant
    • eg. TCP handshake spoofing
  • Object caching
    • Files, videos, web content, locally cached and served
  • Byte caching
    • Repetitive traffic streams, hierarchically indexed and tagged (inline only)
  • Compression
    • (inline only)
  • Proxy support for common protocols
lan wan optimisation options cont d1

Network Components> Appliances> WAN Optimisation

LAN/WAN Optimisation Options (cont’d)

WAN optimisation and application acceleration:

  • Reverse Proxy
  • Bandwidth Management
  • Protocol optimisation – for latency-intolerant LAN protocols
    • eg. TCP handshake spoofing
  • Object caching
  • Byte caching
  • Compression (inline only)
  • Proxy support for all/most common protocols
managing the data centre infrastructure

Infrastructure Management

Managing the Data Centre Infrastructure
  • “Lights Out” operation requires…
    • Little or no human intervention
    • Exceptions:
      • Planned maintenance
      • Fault rectification/management (emergency maintenance/repair)
      • Physical installs/removals
      • Housekeeping (cable management, MAC)
      • Cleaning
    • How are you going to control it? How are you going to manage it?
remote control and management

Infrastructure Management

Remote Control and Management
  • RDC, VNC – In Band Management
  • Console Servers – Out of Band Management
  • KVM switching (local/remote)
  • KVM/IP switching & USB2 VM Remote Drive Mapping
  • IPMI Service Processor OOB Management
  • Intelligent Power Management (iPDUs)
summary cooling


Summary - Cooling
  • Data Centre “Greening” is mainly down to managing power consumption
  • Cooling is the biggest consumer of power (50%)
  • Optimise your air-cooled CRAC system:
    • Cold Aisle/Hot Aisle arrangement
    • Cold Aisle containment
    • Blanking Panels
    • Raised floor/underfloor brush strips/grommets
    • Free air cooling system


Summary – Cooling (Cont’d)

  • If deploying high-density bladeservers/virtualisation, consider water-cooling (max kW/hr cooling rises from 5-10kW/hr to 30kW/hr)
  • Targeted control
  • Even distribution of cooling
  • Full (42u) rack utilisation
  • Zero thermal footprint – design flexibility
  • Remember free air cooling reduces costs further
  • Real Estate savings
summary active equipment networking


Summary - Active Equipment (Networking)


  • high port density, low power consumption, PSU disconnect/fanless operation
  • Extrapolate power consumption over entire port count


  • Modular architecture, high density, low power consumption
  • Make full use of available bandwidth
    • Shared services: IP VPN, point-to-multipoint or meshed MPLS
    • Use/honour QoS marking
    • Deploy Bandwidth optimisation techniques
summary active equipment networking cont d


Summary - Active Equipment (Networking) – Cont’d


  • Load Balancing – Maximise performance, utilisation and availability of server resources
  • DPI Bandwidth Management
  • WAN Optimisation

Maximise performance,

utilisation and availability

of WAN resources



Summary – Infrastructure Management

  • Remote Infrastructure Control and Management enables “lights-out” operation
  • Remote console management gives CLI access to network infrastructure – routers, switches, firewalls, other network optimisation appliances
  • KVM-over-IP allows remote, distributed control of server and workstation systems
  • Service Processor Management allows remote control and management of system processor and environmental monitors/controls
  • Intelligent Power Management enables remote monitoring, control and management of PDUs, UPS and battery backup resources
thank you



Pierre Ketteridge, IP Performance Ltd