In the several dozen computer data centers I've seen, what they have in common is the cold temperatures. My experiences have been akin to walking into the auditorium at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York for a taping of the Late Show with David Letterman. (For those of you who might not get that reference, at least once a week, one of his guests complains about being interviewed in "frigid" conditions.)
As any tech person can tell you, when you stack that much computer equipment together, cooling is critical. And expensive. Energy consumption is very much a problem for current data centers.
IT Business Edge contributor Mike Stevens created a set of tools to help. The first calculator focuses on giving users a quick approximation of the results to expect from decommissioning "comatose" servers -- tracking down and turning off servers no longer performing useful work. The second calculator gives users an approximation of the results to expect from a temporary power-down strategy. And, finally, the third calculator estimates the results to expect from server virtualization -- installing software that enables multiple applications to run on a single server, thus reducing the total number of servers in the data center.
In addition to the calculators, Stevens created a checklist for other areas to look at when contemplating ways to decrease energy consumption.