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Results of INTERACT analysis of 35 rack data centre

Rich Kenny | Dec. 11, 2020, 12:40 p.m.

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One of the most exciting phases of product development is seeing the product work in a real-life situation for the first time. November 2020 was that moment for INTERACT. A thirty-five rack data centre asked for analysis of their current estate with recommended refresh scenarios. With simple information on make and model, CPU and RAM of current server estate, the tool provided a solution that would save over a five-year period:

• £850,000
• 1,812,300 kWh
• 460,000 kg CO2e

As the CIO pointed out, there would be further cost savings to the data centre because it enabled them to reduce the server estate by around 75%. The 773 servers currently running workloads could be replaced by 151 refurbished machines, with obvious economic benefits. This particular business had been contemplating another building to accommodate its rising demand for services. Now it would not have to.

While a full refresh of all hardware is not a likely scenario, a key part of the tool is its ability to inform rack and server level decisions. A good strategy armed with this information would be to address the 10% lowest performing servers and refresh those on a rolling basis. This would allow around 80 servers to be consolidated into 15 based on their estate. Equally rack level consolidation is an option by choosing the hardware in 3 racks and consolidating it into a half rack.

There is also likely to be an additional saving in the maintenance costs. Our calculations are based on the one of the lowest third party maintenance contracts on the market – £70 per machine. AWS estimates maintenance as 18-22% of the upfront cost of a server which would have been much higher.
The INTERACT first run provided a great snapshot of the IT hardware in the data centre in terms of projected costs, energy use and associated carbon footprint. This is useful information given that large UK companies are required to report on their UK energy use and carbon emissions within their Directors report as of 1 April 2019 with Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR). SECR requires data on direct emissions from transport (scope 1) and indirect emissions from electricity usage (scope 2). INTERACT is a peer-reviewed science based tool which provides those figures for a data centre.

More than that, the information provides excellent cost and energy guidance for a number of use cases including lift and shift, rack level consolidations and 5-year strategy plans on IT upgrades. Assessing the 10% lowest performing servers will provide immediate cost return on energy efficiency. Whilst reducing physical footprint during rehosting had obvious savings for infrastructure cost.

INTERACT’s first run at a real-life scenario was a resounding success.

To find out what we can achieve for you contact us .