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How can we evolve the way we use the data center?

21 January 2008 – Dubai – Information technology systems are an essential and strategic component of every enterprise and every building. For those who design and manage Enterprise Information and Communication Technology systems, the guiding principle has always been – Better, Faster, Cheaper. Give clients better performing systems to achieve results faster and reduce costs. Today a new element has to be added to that mandate – environmental responsibility.

According to IDC, energy and cooling expenses will grow eight times faster than the amount of money spent on purchasing new servers through 2010, warns APC-MGE, a global leader in power, cooling, and management solutions. Predictions show that changes in power supply and cooling in data centers will have a serious impact on users, suppliers of data center solutions and energy sources. In fast growing regions such as the GCC, power is in short supply. This calls for technology solutions that address this challenge fast.

The majority of existing data centers (and some of the new ones being implemented now) are not suitable for operating high-density systems. Data center suppliers and operators must change their approach to apply the new technologies. “The presence of higher power in data centers will directly affect all users.

IDC predicts that in 2010 the amount spent on cooling and powering the existing installed base of servers will be over 70% of what is spent on purchasing new servers,” warns Christian Bertrand, ME Business Development & Support Director at APC-MGE. “Building completely new data centers might be cheaper than reorganizing conventionally-built ones, even in the medium-term. We could say that the data center design methodology of yesterday, the conventional server technologies and today’s requirements together will form the greatest IT challenge of tomorrow,” added Bertrand.

An interesting article highlighting that the challenge going forward is going to be with the cost of powering and cooling the data center, going forward then, should we not be thinking of how we can do this in more energy efficient or cost effective ways? Should we be thinking about DC power or, switching the servers off when they’re idle? Could we have data center operating hours? Could we get to the point where I run my trading applications where I get the cheapest power, or in a location where I can use fresh air cooling? Power is cheaper overnight and I can use fresh air cooling, can the Asia Pacific teams run from my London data center overnight?

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