This means high investment in hardware but also an increase to our recurring costs. Recurring costs are those you will pay month by month in order to keep the those servers running. These are usually the space and electricity that you are consuming.
I want to talk today about the electricity (power) costs and how the new technologies we are choosing are combining the costs cutting motivation with making our planet a better and healthier place.
Usually when running a datacenter you are buying space and power from your collocation provider. The costs are per the power stripes you get around 20-30AMP power circuits and you pay for one as if you fully utilized it. So... even if your machines are powered off - you still pay the same amount of $$$ monthly.
It happened to us that 2 of our main suppliers have advanced technologically to allow us to get better.
DELL - came out with their C series that let you combine 4 nodes into one 2U physical chassis.
AMC - our co-location vendor shifted to a "pay per use" power billing system on their new data-centers.
Let's start with the Hardware:
All Intel Nahelem architecture is much more power efficient and makes power consumption much more linear to the load on the machines. On top of that, due to more efficient packaging the C series are even more power effective.
Here is the evolution of DELL's machines as reflected on outbrain's standard application machine:
- PE1950 - uses 2.8 amp
- R610 - uses 1.38 amp
- R410 - uses 1.31 amp
- 1 node within C6100 - uses 0.98 amp !!!
It means over ~2 years we have managed to reduce the power consumption of the machines we use to nearly a third just by using DELL's cutting edge technology. Again, when you look at the bigger picture, buying the newest stuff is proven more cost effective and... GREEN.
What effort you will see by getting more power effective machines if the power costs are always the same?
Here comes your co-location vendor billing method to help. AMC, our co-location vendor was thinking ahead and in their new data centers in NYC and Chicago have already implemented that.
Basically you pay by the amp, so you can have as many machines as you want set-up racked and cabled but you can turn them off to reduce power consumption. Even better, you are encouraged to use more effective hardware in order to reduce your recurring costs and by that... help GREENING the planet.
It's a cycle where everybody benefit from and as a by product we help reducing the global warming. I like it when vendors see that.
Well done DELL and AMC.
ohhh.... and, we are hiring Sys Admin in NYC - so, if you want to be part of this - take a look here.