I was asked to prepare architectural best practices as we help others improve. So from observing our own customers, partners as well as our own operations, here is a short initial list of 5 approaches. Take a look and feel free to provide ideas and suggestions.
1) Understand where energy is consumed.& Use environmental monitoring to measure consumption and output and develop metrics
2) Use a holistic design approach to the architecture (carefully examines the environmental components in each tier, as well as the environmental impact on external systems supporting the overall solution) example: ultra-dense high utilization racks (from 8 kilowatts to potentially 12-22 kilowatts) significantly impacting the cooling architecture (and overall power consumption challenges)
3) Establish a focused set of system SKUs for each tier area to enforce energy efficiency and consumption standards, and environmental impact standards
When purchasing hardware, ACPI 3.0 Systems can use advanced power management capabilities from Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 to reduce energy consumption. And for the server, consider reducing eliminating redundant power supplies for light stateless transactions and consider acquiring the most efficient power supplies available.
Environmental sustainability needs to be incorporated into the datacenter's change management and configuration management processes.
4) Focus on the details of each tier of the infrastructure to reduce energy and environmental impact of key systems
5) Reduce architectural complexity
Reduce the amount of tiers to reduce excessive system use
Aggregate tier systems through consolidation techniques.
6) Turn off systems when not needed.
Most understand the value of simply turning off a lite bulb when you leave the room. The same analogy is true for IT operations. A typical example is turning client machines off to powering down idle servers in the evening to save energy consumption.
That’s it for now. There are others. But I'm interested in your your thoughts, observations and suggestions to reduce energy consumption and environmental impact with the IT solutions we deploy in our datacenters.