Is your data center ready for Eco Mode?

Ever run your laptop computer in power-saving mode? If your company makes use of server farms, it can take a similar approach with its data centers, notching substantial energy savings along the way.

The method centers around the so-called "Eco Mode," a setting for uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs) that lets the UPS do less work, making the data center more efficient.After being deployed widely in Europe, Eco-Mode is now gaining traction in the U.S.

"There is a tremendous need for improved power efficiency in data centers," said George Navarro, technical solutions engineering specialist at Eaton. "That speaks straight to operations costs."

That's one reason companies that rely on massive computing power should sit up and pay attention.

Eco Mode, which is referred to with various terms by different UPS makers, is now included in the U.S. EPA's Energy Star specifications for UPSs. It has also been recommended by The Green Grid, which released a white paper on Eco Mode to educate data center operators about what's needed to use it most effectively.

Along with making data centers more efficient, Eco Mode can contribute to a lower Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) figure, which has become a key metric for showing how energy efficient a data center is. The PUE measures how much of the energy that comes into the facility goes toward computing power instead of other areas like cooling.

Next page: Advantages of Eco Mode