From Environmental Leader: Data centers are uniquely positioned to take advantage of the type of real-time data and control that can come from integrated smart meters. And while this system is a few years in the future for most data centers, a smart-grid like concept can be deployed today.

Data centers can use in-the-rack power strips, known as PDUs, connected to networks and enable staff to monitor and manage power down to individual receptacles. Such integration provides both the data center IT and Facilities managers with detailed information about the performance of network devices. This can help managers quickly identify and address energy-wasting inefficiencies. These systems also provide remote control over all aspects of the data center to manage an energy-efficient, “lights out” operation.

A quick look at the cost/benefit of integrating smart meters with the data center infrastructure and IT suite, especially in concert with a sophisticated DCIM package, indicates a very favorable return on investment. The financial, energy, and manpower investments are minimal and the costs will easily be recouped in less than one year.

When combined with business intelligence, a complete DCIM implementation and weather forecasts data centers will be able to make command-and-control decisions on the fly. This will provide unprecedented control to ensure maximum system availability based on business needs while also managing total energy demand, production and overall IT efficiency.