4 Tips to Avoid Oversubscribing to Power in Your Data Center

Dramatic Image of Power Distribution Station with Lightning Striking Electricity Towers

As the technology industry, and many others, move toward a ‘pay for what you use’ business model, I still find a constant issue with the over subscription of power. I’m sure it comes as a shock, but the facilities and power company benefit heavily when they contract for power that isn’t being used. When this happens you, the client, can end up losing money.

There are many reasons for this, some make sense, such as needing to set aside physical room for growth, power ramps, etc… Others though just cost you money without any gain. To help you mitigate that, I wanted to provide a couple common-sense, potentially cost saving suggestions to keep in mind as you review your current/future data center footprint:

  • Work with a provider who will help you find your actual power utilization *Shameless Data Canopy plug*
    • If you are working with a provider that wants to be a true partner, they will help to assess your current equipment or hardware you wish to purchase.
  • When comparing hardware manufacturers, pay attention to the power draw
    • Power is, more often than not, the largest cost associated with a data center deployment. So, when doing a cost analysis with hardware, if two items are comparable from a specification stand-point, make sure to calculate the difference in power and how that may affect your operational costs.
  • Do not just base your projected power usage on the MAX power output that is shown on most online ‘spec-sheets’ for hardware.
    • It sounds obvious, however we typically see gear operating between 60-80% of the maximum usage, meaning that contracting for that power would result in paying 20-40% more than necessary.
  • If you already have your equipment on and running, make sure to monitor your power usage.
    • Keep daily/monthly reports that you can reference. The better you know your environment, the more accurately you can assess power needs and growth.

The reality is, when you don’t oversubscribe power, that leaves additional funds to put toward furthering your IT goals, or maybe throw a great party for the techs in the trenches. Interested in learning if your environment is oversubscribed? Contact us today.

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