A White Paper from the Experts                                                    in Business-Critical ContinuityTMThe Fou...
Introduction                                        technologies, along with more advanced                                ...
Top Five Data Center Concerns                Fall 2005                                 Spring 2008                        ...
7                                                                                        without increasing operating or6 ...
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The Four Trends Driving the Future of Data Center Infrastructure Design and Management

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Throughout the first decade of the 21st century, countless new technologies, unprecedented business demands, and expanding IT budgets created the modern data center. On the cusp of this century’s second decade, the data center finds itself balancing efficiency and availability while computing demand and energy costs are increasing and IT budgets are contracting. Looking ahead to the next 10 years, the companies emerging as leaders will be the ones that are able to maintain or improve availability while implementing technologies and services that reduce costs by improving design, management and operating efficiency. This paper reviews four trends that will drive these changes.

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The Four Trends Driving the Future of Data Center Infrastructure Design and Management

  1. 1. A White Paper from the Experts in Business-Critical ContinuityTMThe Four Trends Driving the Future of Data CenterInfrastructure Design and Management
  2. 2. Introduction technologies, along with more advanced monitoring and management systems, toThroughout the first decade of the 21st address the reliability issues facing high-century, countless new technologies, density data centers.unprecedented business demands, andexpanding IT budgets created the modern But the pace of change and inabilitydata center. On the cusp of this century’s to forecast future demand remained asecond decade, the data center finds itself challenge. This challenge was increasinglybalancing efficiency and availability while being met by new infrastructure solutionscomputing demand and energy costs are that could more efficiently adapt to short-increasing and IT budgets are contracting. and long-term change.Looking ahead to the next 10 years, thecompanies emerging as leaders will be the At the same time, a new issue was emerging:ones that are able to maintain or improve energy consumption. According to a 2008availability while implementing technologies Digital Realty Trust survey of senior dataand services that reduce costs by improving center decision-makers, power usage of datadesign, management and operating centers (average kW use per rack) jumpedefficiency. This paper reviews four trends that 12 percent from 2007 to 2008. Looking backwill drive these changes. further, the Uptime Institute reports data center energy use doubled between 2000The data center as we know it today started and 2006 and predicts it will double again byto take shape as the dot-com bubble 2012. With this in mind, the industry startedexpanded in the late 1990s. Growth slowed to turn its attention to reducing data centerwhen the bubble burst, but by 2003 the energy consumption.pace of change was accelerating again.Server shipments in the fourth quarter of Those efforts ramped up in the second2003 were 25 percent higher than the fourth half of 2008 as the U.S. economy enteredquarter of 2002 and continued to grow at a deep recession and companies werea double-digit rate the next two years as forced to find ways to reduce spending. ITIT organizations scrambled to meet the organizations began to look seriously atnearly insatiable demand for computing energy efficiency in terms of cost savings asand expectations for 24x7 availability. well as environmental responsibility. ThisIn the absence of management tools to is reflected in survey data compiled by thehelp predict future capacity, data centers Data Center Users’ Group (DCUG). DCUGroutinely were built to handle capacities two members surveyed in 2005 did not includeto three times the initial requirements. energy efficiency in their top five data centerIt wasn’t only the number of servers that concerns. In spring of 2008, efficiency madewas growing but the density and power the list at No. 5. In spring of 2009, efficiencyconsumption of those servers. Server had moved to the second position (Figure 1).density rose rapidly between 2000 and2005, allowing more computing power The challenge for data center managersto be packaged in smaller enclosures. now is to maintain or improve availability inRacks that once had held 8 or 12 servers increasingly dense computing environmentswere being packed with as many as 48 while reducing costs and increasingservers. The industry responded with next- efficiency. A rash of well-publicized datageneration UPS and density-specific cooling center outages in 2008 and 2009 led to 1
  3. 3. Top Five Data Center Concerns Fall 2005 Spring 2008 Spring 2009 Fall 2009 Heat Density Heat Density Heat Density Availability Infrastructure Power Density Power Density Efficiency Management Availability Availability Adequate Monitoring Heat Density Fuzzy growth plans Adequate Monitoring Availability Efficiency Technology Changes Efficiency Power Density Power Density Adequate MonitoringFigure 1. Summary results from Data Center Users Group surveys. Source: DCUGspeculation that cost-cutting was resulting accomplished by establishing data centerin increased downtime. In the wake of infrastructures that leverage four distinctthose outages, respondents to the fall 2009 opportunities to enhance efficiency withoutDCUG survey showed a renewed respect for compromising availability. These are theavailability. It jumped from the fourth most opportunities that will drive data centerimportant concern just six months earlier to infrastructure design and management inthe number one concern (Figure 2). the coming years. Fall 2008 Fall 2009 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 1% 1% 1 – Reducing energy usage 1 – Reducing energy usage is our main priority is our main priority 2% 2% 2 2 7% 6% 3 3 21% 17% 4 4 23% 15% 5 5 6 23% 6 25% 23% 31%7 – Maintaining high availability 7 – Maintaining high availability is our main priority is our main priorityThe likely reason again is economic: one Defining Efficiencysignificant outage can be so costly that itwipes out years of savings achieved through Efficiency is the ability to produce an outputincremental efficiency improvements (Figure 3). with a minimum of effort, expense or waste.To meet the sometimes conflicting In the data center, efficiency traditionally hasobjectives of reducing costs and increasing been used to refer to energy. But in reality,availability, data center management must energy is just one of the resources consumedenter a new stage of maturity. That can be by a data center. And energy efficiency, while 2
  4. 4. 7 without increasing operating or6 management costs has been just as successful at improving efficiency as5 one that cuts costs by half.4 Taking advantage of the opportunities outlined in this paper3 enables IT organizations to more2 efficiently deploy and use all of their1 resources throughout the life of the data center—including physical space,0 capital equipment dollars, design and Banking Energy Telecom Manufacturing Retail Healthcare management time, service costs and, Downtime Cost yes, energy. ($M/Hour) 1. Density Creates Efficiency Data centers already are moving toward high-density computing environments as newer, more important, is just one chapter in the larger dense servers are deployed. In the fall 2009 data center lifecycle story. For example, DCUG survey, respondents indicated they is a system that offers excellent operating expect average rack densities to be 11 kW efficiency but can’t accommodate growth in two years and 17 kW within 10 years— or change really that efficient? How about significantly higher than the 7.4 kW average a system that offers small energy efficiency when the survey was taken (Figure 5). The gains but exposes critical IT systems to reasons cited for moving to higher densities greater risk? include saving facility space and reducing energy costs. This indicates there is growing That’s why a data center efficiency equation understanding of the savings that can be should involve Design, Management and achieved through efficiency; however, Operation (Figure 4). Of course, data center the magnitude of the savings available output is the other side of this formula. A through increasing density continues to be data center that can double its capacity underestimated. Design & For example, industry estimates put the cost Deployment of building a data center (the building shell ■ Shorten Time and raised floor) at $200-$400 per square ■ Minimize Space foot. By building a data center with 2,500 square feet of raised floor space operating at 20kW per rack versus a data center with Management 10,000 square feet of raised floor space at Operation & Planning 5 kW per rack, the capital savings could ■ Improve Performance ■ Increase Availability reach $1 - $3 million. Operational savings ■ Increased Control ■ Reduce Energy also are impressive – about 35 percent of the cost of cooling the data center is eliminated by the high-density cooling infrastructure. Figure 4. Energy is just one of the factors that Click here to view this white paper in its entirety. contribute to data center lifecycle costs. 3

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