Why measure power in data centers?
Suppose your phone rings tomorrow and the CIO is on the line asking, “What are we doing about power consumption in our data centers?” What will you say? Typically, data center managers have not worried about power consumption. Other areas of the company might live without air conditioning after 7 pm, but not the data center. If additional IT-based services were needed, the necessary hardware was purchased and plugged in. This approach is quickly changing as 1) additional power is often not available, 2) the cost of power is becoming a significant cost of operating a data center, and 3) companies are placing a higher value on green initiatives so as to be perceived as good corporate citizens and to prepare for likely environmental regulations.
You can’t manage what you don’t measure. This is particularly true for power, where rule-of-thumb estimates can turn out to be just plain wrong, leading to unnecessary and sometimes quite substantial costs. Devices that were thought to be consuming very little power may be consuming quite a lot, even while simply sitting idle doing no useful work.