If your business relies on centrally located servers, routers, switches, and other similar equipment, you have likely set up some type of server room. This could be anything from a small closet dedicated to housing these items to a full data center, depending on your needs. Regardless of your server room’s configuration, one of the most important things that you will need to plan for is the power needs of the room.
Being able to accurately estimate how much power your server room requires will help to ensure you always have the necessary capacity in place. This will help to keep your facility safe from fires, keep your servers running, and ensure your business doesn’t have unnecessary downtime.
Benefits of Estimating Server Room Power Load
If you have a server room, you want to make sure that it will be up and running smoothly all the time. This means you need to make sure that all the equipment in the room has a steady source of electricity. One of the most common reasons for system outages is a problem with the electrical source. While there are many reasons power can go out, having an overloaded circuit breaker is one of the most common.
Being able to make sure that you are not going to trip a circuit breaker is just one of many benefits that you will enjoy when you are able to estimate server room power load. Another big benefit is that your facility will be safer. When electrical wires and systems are constantly running at or near capacity, there is an elevated risk of a fire. Keeping your total power consumption at a safe percentage of max capacity just makes sense.
Another benefit to estimating power load is so you are not surprised by the bills. Computer equipment can draw a lot of electricity and knowing about how much your systems will take is important. This will help you to be able to better budget for your power related expenses throughout the year. In addition, if the power usage is much higher than expected, it may indicate a problem with one or more of your systems. If you hadn’t previously estimated how much power you would need, you may never even realize there was a problem.
These types of estimates are also critical for your technology growth planning. You cannot just keep adding servers and other equipment to a room forever. The last thing you want to do is keep adding items in until you begin causing the circuit breakers to trip. Good electrical usage estimates can help you to plan out upgrades to your electrical systems and your server closet equipment.
How to Get an Accurate Estimate
There are a number of things that you can do to make sure that you have an accurate estimate of how much power your server room will be consuming. The following are some of the best options to consider. Keep in mind that you can use more than one of the following products or ideas to get the best estimate possible.
- Keep Track of Max Capacity of Each Piece of Equipment – As you install new equipment, make sure to write down the max power requirements of each item. You can use this to determine the maximum electrical requirements that the room may have. You can also use this as a starting point for estimating the actual consumption since most devices will use less than half of the maximum load at any given time.
- Install Power Strips or Outlets that Track Power – You can purchase power strips that will display how much electricity is being used at any given time. You can also install electrical usage devices at the circuit breaker to monitor power usage. Advanced options can even send the data right to your smartphone.
- What is Using Power – When estimating the power used in a server room, you may be focusing on things like servers, routers, switches, and other similar equipment. Make sure you do not leave out things like lights, air handlers, air conditioning units, humidifiers, and more. These can contribute significantly to the overall electrical load.
- Use Electrical Usage Calculators – You can find electrical usage calculators that will allow you to enter in the types of equipment that you have so that you will get custom results. These calculators can give you a good idea of about how much electricity you can expect to use.
- Consider Seasons – Don’t make the mistake of assuming that your power usage should stay the same throughout the year. In the summer, for example, your cooling units will require a lot more power. In addition, if your business has a busy season, your computer equipment may be working harder during those months. These are all factors you should consider.
Every server room is going to be unique, so you will want to come up with a plan to estimate electrical usage that is effective for your particular situation. Take the time to plan it out today, and don’t be afraid to adjust your methods over time to ensure you are getting the most accurate results possible.
Keep Track of Electrical Usage
The bottom line is that there are many different reasons why you want to know how much electricity your server room is going to require. In addition, there are quite a few things that you can do to get an accurate estimate of the usage. With this in mind, it makes sense to take the time to put a system in place that will allow you to know about how much power your server room needs so that your business’s systems can run smoothly at all times.