5 ways to boost server efficiency

Servers can consume more than half of the energy in modern data centers, which makes server efficiency attractive to companies looking to hit carbon-neutral sustainability targets. Plus, reducing energy usage can save money.

To help reach that goal, here are five ways to boost server efficiency, according to recent research from the Uptime Institute, which is focused on improving the performance, efficiency, and reliability of business-critical infrastructure.

  1. Upgrade to a newer server generation. For decades, server energy efficiency has consistently improved thanks to improved efficiency of processors that power them.
  2. Pick servers with high compute capacity as measured in number of transactions per second. Those are the most energy efficient.
  3. Go for high core count. In general, efficiency improves with the number of cores, although there is some tapering off at the highest end.
  4. Be aware that while a server can be more energy efficient, its actual overall power consumed (Watts) can increase even as its efficiency (transactions per second per Watt) increases.
  5. Embrace power-management features in two ways: by reducing core CPU voltage and frequency as utilization increases, and by moving unneeded cores to idle state.

For its analysis, Uptime focused servers that use AMD EPYC or Intel Xeon processors, and it examined server generations from 2017, 2019, and 2021 using data from The Green Grid’s SERT database (additional details on the SERT data can be found at the end of the article).


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