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Three Ways to reduce Datacenter Power Use with Virtualization


Author : Nilesh Rane
Date : January 25, 2016
Category : Datacenter

How do you scale back power needs of a datacenter? Very few organizations have been able to achieve this feat. Why? The crux of the matter is that increasing demand for service and capacity in data centers has overtaken the efforts towards a greener data center (and efficiency interventions like virtualization).

Data centers are highly individualized. To make them more power efficient, you can either make changes to the cooling systems installed thereby increasing their efficiency or ration power supply with advanced power distribution grids or make energy saving procedural changes. There is no guarantee, however, that by making these changes you will be able to scale back the power consumption in your data center.

There are different ways in which you can increase the power efficiency of the data center. These can be:

Virtualize The Data Center

By virtualization, you can increase the utilization of computing resources in a data center that were otherwise lying idle. A server with a single workload may just utilize 10-15% of the memory space while the remaining 85-90% remains idle. Multiple virtual machines (VMs) can be created on the same server by applying a virtualization layer. These virtual machines consume only a portion of the available physical resources despite running multiple applications and OS workloads. A virtualized server can host up to 30 - 40 VMs. As a result, there is a marked reduction in the physical server count that in turn reduces the IT energy consumption leading to less power and cooling costs.

Making The Data Center More Agile

Virtualizing helps the organization in its ability to respond quickly to the changing business needs and computing requirements. By applying virtualization, your IT infrastructure becomes more dynamic and agile to respond to changing capacity requirement. For eg: you have the ability to move VMs from one server to another depending on the workload without any disruptions to business operations. You can power off the servers when not required and power them back on when running peak loads. This helps in optimizing energy consumption and efficient use of physical resources available to a data center.

Do Away With Old Equipment

Legacy systems consume more power. You can either do away with old legacy system by installing new servers or virtualize the applications running on them. Even if you need to install new servers, you will still be better off as these new servers can be further virtualized to run more applications in the longer run. Investing on new servers that can run multiple VMs will reduce your energy consumption eventually leading to cost efficiencies.

Virtualizing the data center yields huge energy benefits and serves as a lifeline to those data centers that are soon reaching the tipping point as a result of low capacity and high power and cooling costs. By leveraging virtualization as a tool, your organization can gain from increased IT flexibility and agility, reliability and availability of the existing IT infrastructure. The savings on energy and space are complimentary. If you are looking at taking the first step towards virtualizing your IT set up, do get in touch with us at

Author : Nilesh Rane

Nilesh Rane is the Associate Vice President - Product and Service at Netmagic Solutions. Nilesh is an expert in the data center domain, specifically in areas such as Disaster Recovery, DR-as-a-Service, IDC and Bandwidth. He has extensive experience of over 10 years within the data center domain, out of his total work experience of 20 years. Nilesh has been with Netmagic for 6 years handing key roles and responsibilities within areas such as DR, DRaaS, IDC and Bandwidth.