Cutting Costs by Increasing Data Center Efficiency

IO Data Center Colocation Modules

Here’s a question for you: Would you buy a six-pack of soda, put it on your counter and turn up the air conditioning to make sure it stayed cold? Of course not.

Colocation Data Center Efficiency

According to a recent IDC survey of enterprise data center managers, power and cooling costs make up about 24 percent of data center budgets. For data centers with an average annual budget of $1.2 million, about $300,000 goes to power and cooling.1

But this is hardly the whole story. Power usage effectiveness (PUE)—the ratio of power coming into the data center as it relates to how it’s being distributed across the IT workload—falls precipitously. More than two-thirds logged a PUE of more than 2.0. Worse, some ten percent were over 3.0 or didn’t even know what their PUE score was.2 By comparison, a PUE of 1.0 is considered very efficient; U.S. government guidelines recommend 1.5 or less.

Unlike traditional raised floor environments, a modular data center seals off the environment, allowing power and cooling to take place within a highly pressurized space. Airflow is optimized throughout using variable speed air handlers. Cabinets within the module are deployed in a hot aisle/cold aisle configuration, and best practices can be implemented in any open spaces to achieve the best PUEs.

In these high-density modules, space and power is efficiently utilized:

  • Less equipment to install, reducing the IT footprint.
  • Fewer cabinets, reducing the amount (and cost) of wiring and cabling.
  • More power for the space, significantly reducing energy costs.

And through the use of our Data Center Operating System (DCOS), the internal environment becomes thoroughly transparent allowing adjustments to be made to ensure the highest efficiency and savings.

Some examples of real-world savings:

  • CBS Interactive: Reduced previous colocation costs by about two-thirds.
  • Sirius Computer Solutions: Continually optimize power consumption and cooling, reaping huge benefits to their clients as they scale.
  • Catalyst Lending: Spend less for a full rack with a fast Internet connection and power than was previously spent just for the Internet connection.

In fact, IO’s industry-defining modular colocation data center was stacked up against its traditional raised floor data center in 2013. IO’s traditional raised floor environment had a PUE of 1.73 over the year-long study—much better than the enterprise data centers in the IDC study—compared to the 1.41 PUE of IO’s modular data center.

This may not sound significant, but the study—performed in conjunction with Arizona Public Service Company (APS) and DNV KEMA (now DNV GL)—not only yielded significant reductions in energy waste, water usage, and carbon dioxide, it resulted in a 19 percent cost savings. That translates to more than $220,000 per MW of IT power load. Read the full study here.

IO’s next-generation modular data centers are here to stay, and the cost savings and efficiencies can only get better. Why not take advantage of IO’s better economies of scale? To learn more about IO’s cost savings and data center efficiency click here.


1 Source: “Enterprises Still Failing to Cut Data Center Power, Cooling Costs,” eWEEK.com, 06/20/2015.
2 Source: “Enterprises Still Failing to Cut Data Center Power, Cooling Costs,” eWEEK.com, 06/20/2015.