Whether it is power, space, or cooling, stranded capacity can strangle your data center’s efficiency, blow-up your budget and put the brakes on new applications implementation. We have encountered many approaches to freeing stranded capacity ranging from the expensive…redeployment or reconfiguration of devices, or adding power or cooling capacity in an operational data center, to the ones requiring lower investment…additional perforated floor tiles, fans, or “meat locker” curtains to help improve cooling capacity utilization.
Frequently, we are asked to help reclaim stranded data center capacity. One approach that is relatively low risk and economical is to improve the utilization of existing cooling capacity. Installing blanking panels and sealing gaps in the raised floor is typically our first recommendation. Fast, simple, and inexpensive to implement, it is typically a first step and may not provide the level of separation needed to concentrate cooling air to accommodate higher densities. The next step is hot or cold aisle containment.
When developing a new networking standard, several attributes need to be balanced to optimize its implementation. To optimize the implementation of 40GBASE-T, the task force developing the standard (IEEE P802.3bq) appears to have settled on a reach of 30 meters. This is a tradeoff between power dissipation of the silicon physical layer (PHY) IC driving the cable, the complexity of the PHY which would impact cost, the implementation of the channel, and the reach of the link.
The question is: Is 30 meters long enough? Let’s take a look.
The devil is in the details. This is true for many endeavors, particularly when building out a data center’s physical infrastructure. Given the scope and investment of the entire data center project, the physical infrastructure can seem relatively minor. Missing some important details however, can have a significant impact on installation schedules, and your job…who wants to explain why a new service or application is delayed because a minor component doesn’t fit right or didn’t arrive on schedule? Missing details can also impact network performance when work-arounds, done for the sake for expediency, lead to operational problems or worse….after the data center has been commissioned.
Statistics, multiple analysts, and research reports indicate that data centers are often overprovisioned with power and cooling capacity to maintain service levels regardless of actual IT equipment utilization. As you are well aware, this approach has proven to be expensive and inefficient. As data center energy consumption grows it is drawing the attention of CFO’s and corporate responsibility managers who are concerned with the impact of the data center’s operation on the environment and of course, the impact on the bottom line. So how can you improve your data center’s efficiency?
New research information from Data Center Dynamics indicates that global data center energy consumption in 2013 has slowed down to 7% growth as compared to 19% between 2011 and 2012. This reduction is attributed to energy efficiency measures, consolidation projects and outsourcing, primarily in mature markets.
So, does this mean data center managers and operators can breathe a sigh of relief? Not necessarily. Once energy efficiency improvement goals have been attained, how do you maintain that level of efficiency over the lifecycle of your data center?
Hello and welcome to the Intelligent Data Center Solutions blog. We are looking forward to exchanging ideas and insights that can help you focus on improving the design and performance your data center’s physical infrastructure. Continue reading →