Have you wondered how power works in a Data Center? If there’s one thing that people are probably overlooking in technology right now, it’s got to be electricity. We’re desensitized to seeing new equipment with shiny and new metal parts, completely disregarding that these would be nothing without this secondary energy source. The fuel that powers our computers and other appliances, electricity is a fuel that yields a productive modern society. Without it, we wouldn’t see manufacturing industries, financial institutions, and medical facilities operate the way they do today. Electricity is vital to these industries, so much so that power outages could result in, at worst, dire catastrophes. One industry in particular significantly depends on power: data centers. In this article, we’ll discuss how power works in a data center – the backbone of IT.
What Is a Data Center?
Google, Apple, Microsoft, Meta – all these major companies have their own data centers which are located across the globe. These facilities contain computer systems used by these organizations to run applications and store the data associated with them. The computers found in these buildings are critical to a company’s day-to-day operations.
Power Distribution in Data Centers
An essential component of data centers is the power distribution system. This varies according to the size of the company. The larger the company, the more complex the system. For most data centers, electricity is sourced through the electric power grid. The facility contains transformers that reduce the voltage as the power received by the center can get astronomically high. And in the event of a power outage, data centers must have generators in place to power the equipment. Alternatively, other energy sources such as diesel, wind energy, and solar energy can be used by these facilities.
It’s good to know that Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) systems are power sources that are used because it can take some time for generators to bring power. Also, they prevent power surges from negatively affecting the equipment. UPS systems are often used as backup sources of power in case of power failures.
Cable management also plays an important role in distributing power. Not only does it create a neat environment that’s suitable for work, but also protects devices from clogged airflow. That’s why data centers must use appropriate and durable power cords. These cords transfer power from the source of electricity to various endpoints. And to properly maintain them, labeling these cords is required to save time when troubleshooting.
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Power Management in Data Centers
In every data center, power management is essential to maintaining your equipment in good condition. While it helps these facilities become more efficient by cutting down on costs, power management ensures that your servers can run 24/7. On top of that, electricity does not only power your equipment to function properly, but also power cooling systems. Ventilation is, in fact, crucial to data centers to retain power efficiency – a growing concern in data centers.
What Are Good Power Management Practices?
Excellent power management is beneficial to data centers not only because it reduces costs, but also because it’s helpful to our environment. That’s why more and more data centers are implementing good power management practices in their facilities. Here are some of the commonly used practices today:
Upgrading Hardware and Software
Data centers practice excellent power management by upgrading their technology. For instance, when a data center’s goal is to manage power more efficiently, covering both your hardware and software is necessary. Sometimes that means looking for new equipment that utilizes power more efficiently than older ones. You can even hire developers to customize your power management software to determine the weak links in your power management system. Plus, you’ll know how to improve them.
Considering The Temperature Conditions
Yes, maintaining the right temperature conditions is important for data centers. While it was previously mentioned that cooling is crucial to equipment, it also consumes a lot of electricity. One way to combat the high power consumption is to increase the temperature of the facility provided that the equipment used can operate at elevated temperatures. This, of course, cannot be accomplished overnight. It takes frequent monitoring to find the optimal temperature of a data center. When the temperature is increased, cooling systems start to use less power without affecting server performance.
Harnessing The Power of Artificial Intelligence
One of the most important trends in technology is artificial intelligence (AI). Like many other establishments, data centers also benefit from this technological innovation. AI can help regulate the power efficiency of cooling systems by considering other variables such as environmental conditions. Tech companies like Google, Meta, and Huawei are already using artificial intelligence to run their data centers. Note that the uses of AI aren’t limited to just increasing power efficiency. For instance, it’s also used in building automated security systems.
Power in data centers has now become a hot topic with these facilities becoming more aware of their power consumption. To curb this high usage, data centers upgrade current technology and start using newer tech such as AI. And as data centers stay relevant to businesses, there will be growing pressure to operate sustainably for a greener environment.