Build a Better Power Structure

By Regina Kwon  |  Posted 2002-08-13 Print this article Print

Workbook: Nearly one-third of all companies are using 50% or less of data center capacity. Find out how much you could save with a better power-supply system.

PDF DownloadBuild it once and build it big, a director of technology once said of his company's data center: Better to pay a little extra now than suffer job-endangering downtime later. For some companies, however, that "little extra" can be a big problem. Consider this: The typical data center is built with a target maximum usage of 80%. But at least one-third of companies fail to come near that number, says Andrew Schroepfer, president of Tier 1 Research. The difference can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars paid for unused power and equipment—negating the budget cuts that are partly responsible for the underutilization to begin with. Companies downsizing or migrating their data centers should take a modular approach to planning, recommends Ramesh Menon, a product line manager for APC. Organizing electrical wires and uninterruptible power supplies into self-contained chunks (a strategy referred to as "right-sizing") makes capital outlays smaller and changes easier, he says, especially in these fickle funding days. "If you're stuck with expensive infrastructure on a low-ROI project, you're looking at a big write-off," he says.
Fill in your own numbers with APC's total cost of ownership calculator.

As Statistics Editor of Baseline magazine, Regina creates interactive tools, worksheets and project guides for technology managers. Before joining Ziff Davis, she worked as a technical program manager for a database company, where her projects included data management applications in XML, Java, Visual Basic and ASP. Her other experience includes running the new media department at Christie's Inc. and writing and editing for Internet World and PC Magazine. Regina received a B.A. from Yale.

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