Just as any good cooking recipe depends on the quality of the food ingredients, so too does the data center you achieve depends on the ingredients you use. Thus, this chapter concerns itself with microprocessor and server design: not so much on how to plan, design, and create them, but on how to judge and select among them as ingredients. Thus, in what follows are described, first, some guiding principles to aid your selection process, followed in detail by the prime ingredients, including the microprocessor and server system, as well as considerations with respect to storage, software, and racks.
Designing a data center to be green is a serious undertaking and needs to start with the end in mind. And that requires knowing the answers to the end state. What are your objectives? What constitutes “green” for you? If you are starting from an existing data center, how do you describe its current state? If not, what do you want to do differently from past data centers? This is the first of five guiding principles—start with the end in mind.
One way to approach this—and the next guiding principle—is to start with an Energy Pareto Chart (Fig. 21.1). What is the current state of energy use in your data center? Not only does this help you identify opportunities and waste, but it also helps you prioritize improvements and in what order.