T.S. Khoo, Vice President ASEAN, IT Business of Schneider Electric gave mis-asia.com an interview in which he discussed his company's proposition-future-driven data centres. Khoo (in this, the first, part of the interview), talked about the challenges facing information executives running sizable infrastructures in Asia and what ideal state they should get their facilities to.
Talk about the problems that should be topmost on the minds of information executives in Asia today.
T.S. Khoo: Schneider Electric believes that one of the biggest challenges is the gap between IT and data centre facility managers. Very often, organisations believe that the bulk investment cost comes from the purchase of equipment or hardware and many fail to take into account the energy spending that comes after.
This is important because after data centre space, power and cooling were identified as two of the biggest challenges by data centre executives. Data centres can consume 100 times more energy than the offices they support. Unfortunately, these energy costs for power and cooling are often overlooked by the typical IT manager - who usually oversees and drives the establishment of data centres - as they fall outside of his/her remit. Instead, these fall under the care and job scope of the facility manager - who may not be involved in the project. As a result, energy management issues are frequently not addressed and resolved in the design and planning of data centres, giving rise to unnecessary energy expenditures.
As a trusted advisor in data centres, Schneider Electric understands the critical need to bridge this gap in order to enable organisations to set up and manage their data centres efficiently. The current uncertain economic outlook means that companies will be looking to manage costs across all aspects of their business, including IT and operating expenses. Hence, it has become even more critical for them to focus on managing their energy well and reduce waste on redundant energy expenditures. For example, typically, the cost of electrical power for a data centre is approximately US$0.12 per kW hr. Based on this, the annual electrical cost per kW of IT load is approximately US$1,000. If we extrapolate that cost over a period of 10 years, a 200 kW data centre's electrical cost would come up to about US$4,000,000. This is a material cost for any organisation, and all IT professionals need to understand where this expense is coming from and what measures can be taken to reduce it.
Simple no-cost decisions made in the design of a new data centre can result in savings of 20-50 percent of the electrical bill, and with systematic effort up to 90 percent of the electrical bill can be avoided. Appropriate tools are needed to facilitate strategic planning, address expected challenges and aid key stakeholders to make IT-related business decisions that ensure IT is in full support and alignment with business directives and bottom-line profitability.
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