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Data Center Handbook by Hwaiyu Geng

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22Energy Efficiency Requirements in Information Technology Equipment Design

Joe Prisco1 and Jay Dietrich2

1 IBM Corporation, Rochester, MN, VT, USA

2 IBM Corporation, Essex Junction, VT, USA

22.1 Introduction

Energy efficiency in data centers is an important topic that is commonly discussed in the information technology (IT) and communications industry. Many of the recent data center surveys conducted by equipment manufacturers, academia, and consortia show that energy efficiency ranks high on the list of top priorities for data center operators and clients.

There are several forces driving improvement in data center energy efficiency. First and foremost, energy prices are increasing. Figure 22.1 shows data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) [1]. The average retail price of electricity from 1960 to 2010 has grown at 0.17 nominal cents per year (not adjusted for inflation). With the demand for energy increasing to meet worldwide demand, costs are expected to continue to rise. The simplest way to reduce the utility bill and cost associated with it is to use less electricity.

c22-fig-0001

Figure 22.1 U.S. commercial sector electricity prices over time.

Second, energy supply is increasingly at risk from short-term or long-term disruptions. These disruptions can be caused by things such as civil unrest, terrorism, politics, natural disasters (hurricanes, earthquakes), inadequate ...

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