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Sunbird: Five ways DCIM software supports EU Green Deal compliance

Sunbird: Five ways DCIM software supports EU Green Deal compliance

Intelligent TechnologySoftware

In the face of climate change and the goal to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, organisations in the data centre space are feeling the pressure to develop energy reduction plans and implement measures to achieve energy saving and sustainability goals. Herman Chan, President, Sunbird Software, a leader in second-generation DCIM for remote data centre management, details a path forward with Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software and five ways it supports EU Green Deal compliance.

  1. Real-time monitoring 
Herman Chan, President, Sunbird Software

Power and environmental measuring and monitoring lay the groundwork for sustainable data centre operations. Monitoring serves as the eyes and ears of your data centre so you can know what’s happening on any site without leaving your desk. It transforms your raw data into actionable insights, drives smarter decision-making and makes energy reporting easy. 

Modern DCIM software is designed to monitor the granular data generated by outlet-metered intelligent rack PDUs with sensors. It can collect 500 data points per rack per minute and is field-proven to collect more than 11 billion data points a day to give you the information you need to comply with regulations. 

DCIM software plays a crucial role in adhering to the EU Green Deal requirements through two key functionalities. First, it facilitates precise energy metering, automatically gathering real-time data from various sources like rack PDUs, RPPs, floor PDUs and UPSs. This comprehensive approach allows for informed decision-making at pivotal points in the power chain and supports efforts to curtail energy consumption. Additionally, the software excels in environmental monitoring, overseeing critical factors like temperature, humidity and airflow. By establishing thresholds and issuing automatic alerts, it promptly identifies deviations from optimal conditions, empowering proactive intervention to mitigate potential issues and prevent equipment damage and energy inefficiency. 

  1. More efficient facilities 

Recovering stranded capacity and getting the most out of your existing facilities drive sustainability by reducing resource waste and deferring expansions. Building and maintaining a data centre is energy-intensive. Building your next data centre potentially provides a significant reduction in your overall carbon footprint. DCIM software offers a multifaceted approach to optimise resource utilisation, employing cutting-edge features for enhanced efficiency.  

The Auto Power Budget, a Machine Learning algorithm, facilitates automatic device power budgeting. By leveraging live data from outlet-metered intelligent rack PDUs, it precisely calculates power budgets for each server based on actual loads. Comcast experienced a 40% boost in utilisation by implementing this feature, as showcased in a compelling case study. 

Furthermore, the software offers invaluable tools such as what-if analysis, allowing you to simulate projects and assess the impact of new equipment or configuration changes on rack space and power capacity. Intelligent capacity search also enables swift identification of optimal cabinets for deploying new equipment thereby streamlining the reservation process. Correlated capacity reporting provides a holistic view of rack capacity in 2D or 3D, highlighting underutilised resources and informing strategic decisions for workload redistribution. Zero-configuration analytics offer pre-configured dashboards for real-time capacity monitoring and built-in power chain intelligence, ensuring a clear understanding of power load and capacity at every stage in the chain and enabling the seamless deployment of additional equipment without the risk of tripping breakers upstream. 

  1. Reduced energy consumption 

To achieve carbon neutrality, you will need to significantly decrease how much energy your data centres consume. DCIM software provides insights that empower you to implement measures that will increase energy efficiency and align your operations with your sustainability goals. 

DCIM software serves as a vital tool in enhancing energy efficiency within data centres. One significant impact lies in adjusting temperature set points, a measure proven to curtail energy consumption. Through meticulous temperature monitoring and comprehensive cooling charts, the software identifies cabinets exceeding recommended guidelines. By safely raising temperatures to align with actual needs, it minimises energy waste substantially. Additionally, the software aids in identifying and decommissioning idle servers, presenting a built-in report listing potential ghost servers based on power consumption. This not only saves energy but also frees up space for new services or improved airflow. 

Moreover, DCIM software contributes to optimising private clouds and virtual environments. Integration with VMware automates virtual machine management and enhances efficiency. The software’s out-of-the-box VMware connector simplifies setup, allowing users to map virtual machines to energy-efficient physical hosts. This information empowers strategic placement, enables the relocation of virtual instances to the most efficient servers and thereby reduces overall energy consumption. Furthermore, the software promotes efficient practices through energy cost reports, facilitating a clear understanding of consumption by data centre, customer, service or application. This data can be utilised to generate precise bill-back reports, encouraging customers to minimise their energy usage and identifying areas for improvement in team and application energy efficiency. 

  1. Compliance reporting 

You must document and report your regulatory compliance efforts and this has never been easier with DCIM software. DCIM solutions simplify KPI tracking through centralised data collection and documentation, enhancing regulatory compliance reporting. This unified platform facilitates easy retrieval of energy information, including consumption metrics, temperature logs and operational records. Accessible data ensures seamless fulfilment of reporting requirements which enables the integration of accurate energy consumption details into corporate sustainability reporting systems. The energy dashboard offers diverse standard and custom charts, automating real-time tracking of Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) and other key metrics. Reports can be downloaded, printed or shared through scheduled email reports, corporate portals or secure links with granular access control. This allows for in-depth analysis of the underlying data. 

  1. Cost savings 

DCIM software quickly pays for itself and keeps your operating costs down by enabling you to make data-driven decisions that optimise your data centres. In the realm of sustainability, DCIM software offers multifaceted financial benefits.   

Firstly, it facilitates precise energy cost tracking and forecasting. The software enables accurate expense predictions by meticulously monitoring energy consumption and cost trends. This, in turn, unveils potential savings opportunities and highlights areas where energy use can be curtailed without compromising operational uptime. Armed with this data, optimal resource allocation becomes achievable and can direct expenditures and efforts towards initiatives yielding the highest return. 

Secondly, the software optimises cooling systems through real-time environmental monitoring. This capability identifies inefficiencies, hot spots and suboptimal airflow. Subsequent targeted adjustments optimise cooling strategies and ensure resources are precisely allocated where needed, thereby averting unnecessary costs associated with overcooling and guaranteeing proper airflow. Additionally, proactive equipment maintenance supported by detailed asset lifecycle tracking extends hardware lifespan. Routine maintenance defers replacement costs and reduces carbon emissions by curbing manufacturing and e-waste. Environmental monitoring swiftly addresses issues like high temperatures or humidity, safeguarding equipment and prolonging its operational life.  

Moreover, DCIM software empowers the efficient utilisation of existing facilities. Actionable insights on resource capacity and utilisation inform optimal layout configurations, resource allocation and informed decisions on expansions. This strategic approach significantly diminishes the need for costly infrastructure investments. Furthermore, the software aids in demand charge avoidance by comprehensively understanding energy usage patterns. Analysing historical data allows for strategic workload management, task scheduling and deployment of energy-intensive equipment during off-peak hours which effectively mitigates steep demand charges. Lastly, the implementation of energy-efficient technologies to achieve compliance with sustainability regulations not only reduces energy costs but also shields against penalties for non-compliance thus reinforcing the financial advantages of sustainability practices. 

Final thoughts  

As the world grapples with the urgent need for sustainability, the EU Green Deal presents a vision for green data centres that can support the growing demand for data centre services without harming the environment. DCIM software plays a pivotal role in supporting compliance with the EU Green Deal’s data centre requirements. With real-time monitoring, more efficient facilities, reduced energy consumption, compliance reporting and substantial cost savings, DCIM software is an important solution for driving efficient data centre operations. With the right tools and data, organisations can usher in a new era of sustainability and contribute to a brighter, greener future for all.  

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