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Moving towards greater efficiency and intelligence in today’s data centre

James Young, Director, Data Centres, Asia Pacific, CommScope | Aug. 26, 2015
The next generation infrastructure for data centres must be agile and modular to support the growing needs for more capacity, says James Young of CommScope.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

The proliferation of mobile devices like tablets and smartphones places mounting pressure on IT departments and data centres. The modern data centre is a complex place, and typically expensive to build and maintain. As demand for storage data grows, so will end-users' and customers' expectations -- a data centre manager must now manage mounting pressures while keeping costs under control and maintaining operational efficiency.

The Enterprise versus The Hyperscale Provider
The differences in operational efficiency between hyperscale companies and an enterprise are many and varied: a hyperscale provider has the ability to do four or five particular things at a large scale and freedom from dealing with legacy systems, but the enterprise needs to manage multiple complex processes and contend with potentially higher operating costs.

While it's no surprise that the complex, multi-layered enterprise have more things to manage, it is good to know that there are new tools available, such as data centre infrastructure management (DCIM) solutions that can enable them to measure the amount of work obtained out of every watt sent into the IT equipment. This data can then drive new efficiencies.

Diving deeper into the productivity of IT equipment will empower data centre managers to make more informed decisions in real-time, and optimise the investment and use of IT resources. Power usage effectiveness (PUE) targets should be continuously lowered, but eventually facility improvement reaches a limit given the data center's basic design. Effective use of IT energy, enabled with DCIM tools, picks up where PUE management alone begins to fail.

The Shift to Intelligent Data Centres
A recurring question in the discussion of evolution of data centres is, "how can we make data centres more eco-friendly?" This is an important topic not only because of the growing emphasis on environmental conscientiousness, but also because reducing power wastage can translate into real business savings. Thus, designs that can minimize or eliminate wastage will become a key objective of both IT equipment manufacturers and data centrefacilities. This synergy, combining modular data centre technology with DCIM analytics enables the eco-friendly data centre of the future.

Eco-friendly IT equipment will operate in a much wider environmental range, enabling modular data centres to provide alternate "free cooling", even in places like Singapore. In fact, most leading server, switch and storage manufacturers are already supporting extended temperature operating ranges. And yet, there is amisguided perception that operating equipment in cold conditions somehow makes them run better or perhaps reduces the risk of malfunction. That being said, other companies are taking the step towards energy and cost savings through promoting technologies that reduce energy demand; IT equipment that requires less cooling usesless power, resulting in a much greener data centre.

 

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