On the way to work Friday, I snapped this picture . At first glance, it's a car that ran out of gas. Take a closer look and it's a Prius. Huh?!? How do you run out of gas in a Prius? Can you imagine what was going through his head? "My super-efficient electric hybrid car ran out of gas in my own neighborhood?"
Which brings me to that datacenter. A datacenter has a gas gauge too. I wonder how many CIO's are checking it regularly? At the current rate, datacenters will demand more and more energy for power and cooling than the facility or the local grid can support.
(Don't let this happen to your datacenter)
In my estimation, you have 3 options:
1. Invest to hold more gas, i.e. figure out how to bring more power to the datacenter. (a Prius holds only 11.9 gallons)
2. Get better milage from your servers, storage and AC.
3. Stop growing
Option 2 is the only good one and it's not so hard to achieve. If you have servers in production that are 5 years old or more, you have a huge opportunity to not only increase your performance, but to save more energy. Taking a 100 servers from 600 watts to 200 watts of power (and multiplying that with virtual servers) can not only save you big bucks every month, but extend the gas milage of your datacenter.
If you want more ways to extend the life of your datacenter, check out Tips for Data Center Efficiency by Greg MacSweeny of the Wall Street Journal who did a lot more research on the topic.