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Hardware Thread, 10 Power-saving myths debunked and more - for all of the schools going 'green' in Technical; For all of those schools going 'green' or giving it consideration here is an article that I found. It that ...
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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    10 Power-saving myths debunked and more - for all of the schools going 'green'

    For all of those schools going 'green' or giving it consideration here is an article that I found. It that goes into a few myths about power saveing which could be informative or at the least useful ammo against interfearing consultants.

    10 power-saving myths debunked | InfoWorld | Analysis | 2008-10-06 | By Logan G. Harbaugh

    They do get XPs hibernate and suspend mixed up but other than that the story seems quite good.

    Interestingly there were a few bits of research a while back that was done to determine how much power could be saved by cooling the equipment using unfiltered outside air and noticed only a 0.6% increase in failure rate but a huge saveing in power.
    Slashdot | Intel Shows Data Centers Can Get By (Mostly) With Little AC

    Microsoft took this idea even further and just dumped a whole rack of servers in a tent outside for seven months and had no failures even when they were dripped on by rain.
    Slashdot | Microsoft Innovates Tent Data Centers

    Perhaps data centers of the future will look more like wind tunnels than darkened caves, blasted with air from the outside world. Not that I would recommend or consider pushing any of my ageing servers 'out into the cold' but the design of the server room could change dramaticly in the next few years.
    Last edited by SYNACK; 7th October 2008 at 06:49 PM.

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    speckytecky (8th October 2008)

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    Erm, so they debunk the myths by going "because we say so"? Opinion piece != debunking.

    There's a data centre somewhere in the US where they have a massive door / shutters along the wall of the data centre and when the outside temperature is lower than internal, they turn off the aircon, open the door and use external cooling. Will try to find the link.

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    It's ideas like this that we need...

    Heat from data center used to warm Swiss swimming pool - Engadget

    Can't wait for someone to install a pool here in the interests of being eco...

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    Quote Originally Posted by pete View Post
    There's a data centre somewhere in the US where they have a massive door / shutters along the wall of the data centre and when the outside temperature is lower than internal, they turn off the aircon, open the door and use external cooling.
    & watch the local scallies wander in and strip the room in 5 mins

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    Quote Originally Posted by TechMonkey View Post
    & watch the local scallies wander in and strip the room in 5 mins
    iirc correctly it's a couple of storeys up with a thick steel mesh in front (think cable tray mesh).

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    Much of the stuff there is impractical/not appropriate to the scale that we work on. However, it is a) a good thing that these measures get implemented where appropriate, and b) gets us thinking about how we can make sensible, low cost savings.

    There would be a much bigger impact if our Works Dept were to insulate the loft above the classrooms, but I have no control over that; I can turn the 30 PCs off next door overnight and at weekends.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pete View Post
    There's a data centre somewhere in the US where they have a massive door / shutters along the wall of the data centre and when the outside temperature is lower than internal, they turn off the aircon, open the door and use external cooling. Will try to find the link.
    Sounds great - if it works. They probably spent a whole load more money than the LEA when they supplied that type of system to us.

    Our new suite uses this principle as part of the 'green' spec that had to be built into the build.

    When it's a little bit over normal temperature the AC kicks in but if it still gets too hot inside the 6 external vents open, the AC shuts off and fresh air is used (unless there's no air movement outside in which case it falls over and tries to do everything all at once). When it's cold the vents shut and AC turns into heating mode.

    It's crap though since the only temperature setting (that we can't control) seems to be set at bloody freezing and the AC is on all the time. We can turn it off but it automatically turns itself back on after a few minutes (I like it cold but this is ridiculous).

    Also it's supposed to use the colder outside air at night to cool the rooms so that they're at a lower temperature in the morning but it appears not to work properly.

    Sounds great in principle but since it's never worked right from the beginning I think they need to work on the controls before they inflict it upon us. Everybody here moans about it being too cold in the new rooms but too hot in the old rooms.

    Our school tries to be green but they sort of give up when they see teachers in rooms with the AC flat out and the heaters on as well - not to mention windows and doors open with AC/heating running.

    HBJB

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    I particularly love this gem:

    Myth No. 2: It takes too long to cold-start servers to react to spikes in demand. If customers are made to wait, they'll go elsewhere.
    Fact: Idling servers at zero workload as hot spares is an egregious waste of energy and an administrative burden. If customers need to wait while you spin up cold spares to handle rising workload, brag about it. For a Web site, put up a static page asking users to wait while additional resources are brought online. As for the wait, people will stay on hold if they know their call will be answered. Build power management into your services architecture and make it part of the message that you send to users and customers.
    I don't think that author understands how ecommerce works. People want to do things there and then, not in 10 minutes once a server has been turned on. Our average HP DL360 G5 takes between 5 and 15 minutes to cold-boot, depending on what OS, and what services that OS is running. No customer would sit at a site waiting that long. Can you imagine someone going to Amazon.com and being presented with a page saying 'please wait'? No, they'd jump over to barnes and noble!

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    Not sure about some of it... but here we're starting with basics

    Shutting down and turning of the power at the wall - applies to all electrical equipment: TVs, Monitors, Whiteboards, PCs, Videos, etc The server is the only thing that's exempt.

    We're also turning off lights when rooms aren't in use... we have the children on board; they're very good at 'reminding' their teachers to turn things off!

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    Quote Originally Posted by pete View Post
    Erm, so they debunk the myths by going "because we say so"? Opinion piece != debunking.

    There's a data centre somewhere in the US where they have a massive door / shutters along the wall of the data centre and when the outside temperature is lower than internal, they turn off the aircon, open the door and use external cooling. Will try to find the link.
    I worked in one in the early 1980s just like that in the middle of woods just outside Poughkeepsie NY State; we had a security guard who sat by the door to make sure nobody (or any bears or skunks) got inside

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    Quote Originally Posted by broc View Post
    I worked in one in the early 1980s just like that in the middle of woods just outside Poughkeepsie NY State; we had a security guard who sat by the door to make sure nobody (or any bears or skunks) got inside
    I think letting maybe one bear into the data centre would aid skunk prevention and the break-fix time for people "just popping in" for help would improve dramatically.

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    Turning PCs off whenever they're not in use is, IMHO, impractical as classes can't wait while the PCs install any new applications which I've pushed round at startup. Reducing the amount of power used when they're not required is practical though (point 5 on that myth debunking site) - consider the power management settings on things like hard disks (ours power off after 2 mins) and those oh-so-pretty screen savers (ours monitors power off after 5 mins). Aside the obvious environmental benefits of these changes, they also save our school something like £4/computer/year (your results may vary, of course).

    Printers are even worse offenders - our colour lasers draw around 100W when in "energy save" mode, and can peak at in excess of a kilowatt when printing.

    Classroom lights are a good one to look at too, as elsiegee40 picked up on. I received the slightly unpleasant end of a lunchtime conversation about energy saving, in which I was criticised for my decision to turn all the computers on automatically each morning, until I pointed out to the teacher in question that the PC idling over lunchtime actually uses less electricity than her classroom lights, which I knew for fact were currently on in her empty room. Don't be tempted to turn corridor lights off, though; our fire safety inspector "told us off" for that.

    As Andrew says, a lot of the energy saving advice around isn't appropriate to our scale of enterprise, however there are still things we can do, for both the planet and the electricity bill :-)



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