Small Data Centers

Small data centers are facilities under 5,000 square feet of computer floor space. They make up more than half of all servers in the data center sector and comprise the largest share of data center load.


Limited staffing and budgetary constraints can make it challenging to fund and act on energy-saving opportunities. As with several other data center types, smaller data centers may also have multiple internal stakeholders with competing interests. For example, a data center’s computing and facilities staff who control operations may not be responsible for paying the data center’s utility bill. 


Containing energy costs in a small data center starts with making sure the data center and each server within it are needed. Data centers can often realize significant energy savings by consolidating and upgrading equipment. When identifying opportunities for energy efficiency savings, some initial strategies include:

  • Migrating computing workloads to the cloud where feasible, consolidating smaller facilities, and virtualizing servers and workloads to maximize server utilization and turn off “zombie” servers.
  • Increasing temperature setpoints to ASHRAE recommended levels and using good cooling air management.

Partner Examples and Additional Resources

Schneider Electric: Distributed Site Consolidation and Continuous Energy Efficiency Improvement
Schneider sought a 30-50% reduction in data center operations costs attributed to energy consumption. To do this, Schneider Electric consolidated one primary legacy data center and multiple distributed data centers into a modern data center that offered greater reliability and energy efficiency.

Small Data Centers, Big Energy Savings: An Introduction for Owners and Operators
This brief guide presents opportunities for small data center owners and operators that do not require expensive assessment and analysis to justify.


Consolidate or Improve? The Small Data Center Question
This presentation highlights the energy efficiency and operational improvements associated with data center consolidation. Consolidating data centers helps organizations reduce the size of a single facility or merge multiple sites together.

Solutions for Small to Medium-Sized Data Centers: Air Management
This webinar spotlights practical solutions for air management in small and medium-sized data centers. Topics include air management techniques, practical applications, and lessons learned in case studies.

Managing Data Centers in Multi-Use Environments
This presentation addresses the challenges encountered while implementing energy efficiency improvements in existing data centers within multi-use buildings.

Explore Other Data Center Types