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December 21, 2011

Appliance Development and Deployment and Data Center Power Efficiency: Four Advantages

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Much like every other business out there, data centers are constantly looking to decrease costs and become more efficient—especially in these economic times.

A significant portion of their overall cost is power, so if you want to look for improvements, that’s a good place. According to officials at NEI (News - Alert), a data center probably has what they call “a series of power conversions that result in power loss and wasted energy.” They show how 380V DC can help.

How so? As the company explains, since a conventional data center’s power is supplied from the grid as alternating-current (AC), it goes through several conversions before providing the direct-current (DC) power required.

380V DC can help, however, and many data centers should now consider DC power distribution, “specifically, 380 volt DC as an option,” NEI officials say. Utilizing servers and other appliances that support 380V DC means  fewer components, reduced cooling needs, and fewer heat-related outages.

In fact, NEI officials contend that 380V DC has four major benefits over traditional AC power.

First, it’s more reliable. This is because 380V DC nearly doubles reliability by cutting the number of conversions in half, “vastly decreasing” the opportunity for failure.

Second, it uses less space, because it uses far less equipment -- 380V DC requires up to one-third less floor space.

Third, it’s more efficient, since it eliminates power lost to each AC to DC conversion. NEI officials estimate that it can save up to twenty-five percent of overall power.

And since the equipment is less costly to buy and maintain, you save on capital and operating costs. Again, NEI officials estimate that savings could reach as high as twenty-five percent.

Yes, there are questions regarding standards, and currently there are some issues like power supply connectors and connectors for rack interconnect. But if you’re interested in 380V DC power as a strategy to lower costs, it’s probably a good idea to partner with a deployment expert like NEI.

NEI has about fifteen years’ experience with storage, security, enterprise, and carrier communications, and can provide full integration and support for any data center appliance deployments.

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

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