The New Frontier of High Density Data Centers
As competition increases and margins become razor thin, it’s critical to minimize the physical (and, therefore, energy) footprint of data centers. After all, as data center size increases, real estate costs—especially in high-value areas such as Hong Kong and New York—go up as well as related expenditures. For example, roughly one third of data center power usage goes to operate equipment while half goes to cool that equipment.
The solution? The high density data center.
What is a High Density Data Center?
Data center density is typically measured in kilowatts (kW) per cabinet. Ten years ago, 2-4kW per cabinet was the industry standard. However, by 2016 that capacity has grown to 10-12kw, with 10kW considered the minimum standard for a high density data center. That said, many legacy data centers are still operating at 5kW.
The high density data center offers multiple benefits:
- Greater computing power in less space
- Virtualization implementation
- Workloads shared across multiple devices
- Smaller cooling footprint
- Fewer cabinets/racks
- Less cabling distance between equipment
- Minimized electrical infrastructure
The high density data center also allows for future growth as processed online data is projected to increase ten times by 2020.
Making the Leap to a High Density Data Center
When considering the move to a high density data center, there are a variety of considerations to keep in mind, starting with the big picture:
- Map out your desired high density data center structure.
- Project necessary hardware and capabilities.
- Identify scheduling preferences.
- Determine file system and storage configurations.
Then, you need to answer these questions about your current data center:
- What is the current kW density?
- Can the existing power and cooling infrastructure handle an increased load?
- How efficiently is economization being employed?
- Will the current physical environment support heavier cabinets and racks?
Finally, calculate necessary space and power density at a granular level:
- Number of total units
- Average kW per unit
- Peak kW per unit
- Percentage of unit power uncertainty
- Managed power ratio
In the end, it’s not a matter of if you’re going to employ a high density data center, it’s a matter of when. The economics of cooling ever-sprawling, low-performance data centers in conjunction with Moore’s Law make it inevitable. For example, one Fortune 100 company recently saw its use of older, low-density servers consume 60% of power while producing only 4% of computational capacity.
Successfully planning, implementing, and managing your data center needs is more critical than ever. You don’t have to go it alone: Silverback Data Center Solutions is here to help you with your current and future needs.
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