Using Lean Six Sigma* and Systemic Innovation in Mature Data Centers

By Dermot Honan-Research & Innovation Mgr, Intel Labs Europe, Charles Sheridan-Sustainable Computing Research Lead, Intel IT and Keith Ellis-Research Analyst, Intel Labs Europe 

To extend the viability of mature data centers, Intel IT developed a methodology for measuring, monitoring, and managing energy consumption using a synergistic combination of two improvement methodologies. Lean Six Sigma* (LSS), our primary methodology, helped us focus on the issues with the greatest impact, while Systemic Innovation for Teams (SIfT) provided a process for solution identification. 

“We studied power usage at one mature data center. The combination of LSS and SIfT in Phase 1 of our project helped us pinpoint opportunities for significant, measurable energy reductions in the areas of server load and cooling load.”

• Achieved a 7 percent server load reduction using the uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to measure IT load. 

• Identified a further 3 percent server load reduction using Intel® Intelligent Power Node Manager and Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) technology to match server power to work-week usage. 

• Used our air optimization strategy to shut down three computer room air conditioning (CRAC) units—achieving the equivalent of an 8-percent reduction in total cooling load. 

• Identified a 4-percent reduction in total cooling load by raising the temperature of the chilled water system (CWS).  Using Lean Six Sigma* and Systemic Innovation in Mature Data Centers