IT Focus Area: infrastructure operations
November 24, 2014
How Can IT Prepare for the Data Center Facility of the Future?
This is an excerpt from the new The Essential Guide to the Data Center Facility of the Future.
Go into any enterprise data center and you’ll see that it’s a snapshot of a specific point in time. All of its systems were designed for the enterprise’s IT needs at that moment. For example, a server will store a set amount of data while an air conditioner can cool only so much heat. The problem when you invest in building systems is that IT changes so fast that your systems will become obsolete before they lose their “new car smell”. The average IT refresh cycle is three years, which means that IT will refresh four times before an air conditioner with a 12-year lifespan needs replacing. But how much more of a demand will IT place on that air conditioner in the next five or 10 years? Over time, your systems will start to fail. If you use quick fixes to temporarily patch them, you’ll see the same issues again and again.
Just like you can’t change a plane’s engine when it’s flying at 30,000 feet, you also can’t repair major building systems while your data center is operating. Since many facility issues are interrelated, it’s difficult to fix only one area at a time and do so without affecting the data center’s operation.
The Infinite Data Center
One answer to this problem is to build the Infinite Data Center. With this model, you focus on maximizing your compute capacity—not increasing your floor space. For example, constructing a facility with a power density of 10kW/cabinet or higher will allow you to accommodate new IT equipment without the need for additional floor space or building infrastructure replacement. This is accomplished by maximizing the vertical cabinet space before expanding horizontally. A higher power density allows you to maximize your compute capacity per cabinet, which reduces your overall footprint requirement. Also, with each and every IT refresh, the equipment becomes increasingly efficient from a space and power perspective.
To learn more about the data center of the future, download The Essential Guide to the Data Center Facility of the Future.