Additionally, Weihl urged data center admins to check the manufacturer-recommended inlet temperatures of their IT equipment and adjust the thermostat accordingly. (Data center admins at Google don shorts instead of warm clothing typically worn by IT staff in the average overchilled data center, Weihl said.)
On top of that, he suggested that companies, whenever possible, embrace free cooling -- such as cooling towers and outside air -- to supplement costly CRAC operations.
Beyond using energy-efficient technologies, Weihl talked up the importance of measuring and monitoring. For example, he said companies should keep track of the utilization levels of servers -- notoriously low in some data centers. "Provision what you need to, not ten times more than you need to," he said.
Power management capabilities, which have long been available on computers, are also becoming common on servers -- yet companies often turn off those capabilities. Don't do that, Weihl urged, likening it to ripping the electric motor out of your hybrid vehicle and using just the fuel engine.
Additionally, he noted that monitoring performance of both infrastructure and IT gear can help an organization track and address inefficiencies.
On a tangential note, Weihl reiterated that Google is not planning to enter the energy market, despite the fact that the company applied for an application to the FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) for the right to buy and sell energy on the wholesale market. The company made the move to save money on energy costs down the road, as well as to give Google more flexibility in purchasing clean energy, Weihl said. "We don't want to be the next Enron," he said. "We want to be able to sign contracts for renewables without throwing away lots of money."
This story, "GreenNet 2010: Google shares its green data center secrets," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in green IT and read more of Ted Samson's Sustainable IT blog at InfoWorld.com.