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Energy strategies for cloud-focused data centres in Malaysia

AvantiKumar | Oct. 2, 2012
APC by Schneider Electric Malaysia's vice president discusses some of the current trends as well as the myths in managing energy in data centres in the age of cloud computing.

 

What are the top four common myths and challenges faced by businesses wanting to adopt more efficient power, cooling and energy management?

There are several myths that are circulating in the industry which are a result of vague terms and interpretations. Four common myths are seen to surface such as; virtualisation always increases your efficiency, virtualisation requires high density,  operating at high density is less efficient (you cannot have high density and high efficiency), "I don't need to worry about power and cooling when virtualising'. (Source: Cloud Computing Playbook, Section 3.5 & Section 3.6)

Virtualisation doesn't always increase your efficiency

The ratio of total IT power consumption to total data centre power consumption, does not allow for it to be more efficient because, the IT load decreases more than the accompanying power reduction in the power and cooling systems.

 

Virtualisation requires high density

Virtualisation does not force IT managers to pack servers into IT enclosures; they can now choose three main density strategies or a combination as no one strategy is ideal for every single data centre.


Operating at high density is less efficient

Running at higher densities and increased efficiency CAN coexist using row-based cooling. However, there will be a possibility that hot spots can be found, due to old cooling systems.

 

"I don't need to worry about power and cooling when virtualising"

IT managers should plan in advance to ensure the existing power and cooling architecture can support the density strategy chosen in the short term and long term.

While there are myths about cloud computing, challenges are also faced throughout the process of adopting cloud computing which consist of a few common ones;  increased power density, dynamic power/cooling being mandatory, rapid scalability becoming critical, availability of architectural changes, virtualisation impacts operations.


Increased power density

Virtualisation increases power densities at rack level, cooling challenges are faced and are difficult to maintain.


Dynamic power/cooling is mandatory

The need for cooling system which can dynamically regulate cooling capacity


Rapid scalability becomes critical

When speeds of provisioning new "servers" become extremely fast


Availability of architectural changes

Data centre physical infrastructures should be designed based on the fault-tolerant nature of cloud based IT models.


Virtualisation impacts operations

There are rapid changes in demand and capacity that requires effective management tools in order to keep the operations up and running.

 

How cloud computing is impacting the data centre industry - where does this leave businesses that provide physical data centre infrastructure such as Schneider Electric?

Schneider Electric believes that entire data centre industry needs to be adapted to a cloud business model to achieve the greatest energy gains. Specifically, today's data centres must be denser, more flexible and fully automated to make noticeable strides towards saving energy, while maintaining reliability and availability.

 

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