Winning project of Regione Lombardia Metadistretti 2008 bid - Energy saving in data centers
"In the current economic climate companies need to contain costs and this is one of the motivations driving IT strategies towards a more efficient model The Energ-IT initiative, promoted by the Regione Lombardia, has raised awareness of the debate and stimulated research into ways and solutions to address the problems of the energy impact of company information systems."

Computerworld Italia Digital Edition, June 2010

Project: Winning project of Regione Lombardia Metadistretti 2008 bid
Sector: Public Administration
Aim: Energy saving in data centers
Solution: Creation of an Enterprise Performance Management system

CONTEXT

The theme of energy efficiency and an attention to energy consumption are making inroads into the IT world more and more, especially as regards those elements considered among the most energy-guzzling on the planet, i.e. data centers. For a data center, whether a large company or a service provider, the energy element with relative associated costs requires increased attention and must take on an ever-greater weight in calculating the Total Cost of Ownership.

SOLUTION: THE ENERG-IT PROJECT

Milan and other important areas of national importance took part in the Energ-IT project, co-financed by the Regione Lombardia. The aim of the project was to introduce tools to support data centers in increasing energy efficiency. Tools were created for the following:

  • to measure and estimate the data center consumption (configuration of data center, components present and possible lower energy-consumption components)
  • to analyze thermodynamic performance, highlighting all the inefficiencies arising from an incorrect arrangement of the infrastructure (for example, if machines that give out more heat are placed lower down rather than higher up, substantial savings in air conditioning costs can be obtained)
  • to optimize data center consumption by means of virtualizing the processing power, modernizing the infrastructure and modifying the configuration.

GREEN PERFRMANCE MANAGEMENT

Beta 80 Group, relying on its experience in the field of Business Intelligence and Enterprise Performance Management, approached the theme of energy efficiency in a new way, which was closer to the tools that the company management uses daily. What was developed is in fact a management dashboard enabling, among other things, the following procedures:

  • monitoring of the main efficiency indicators, such as PUE and DCiE
  • controlling consumption and performances of systems present in the data center
  • monitoring of Total Cost of Ownership
  • analyzing the data coming from different systems, in a multi-dimensional environment
  • carrying out forecasting of sets of data and making scenario / what if analyses

RESULTS

The Energ-IT suite was experimented in a data center of 130 servers with an annual cost in electricity of around 70,000 Euros. Implementation of the solution, without significant modifications to systems with critical applications (and limiting investments for optimization), led to a saving on the energy bill of around 12,000 Euros, equal to 17%.