SPONSORED CONTENT: Executive's guide to the next-generation datacentre

Dealing with rapid growth

One of the looming challenges in today’s datacentre is the rapid data growth. One study finds that the amount of data is growing between 25-50 percent annually, and by the end of 2015 we are predicted to cross the zettabyte threshold. For reference, one zettabyte is equal to about 250 billion DVDs-worth of data! The problem is, most traditional, “brick-and-mortar” datacentres are already approaching the limits to their power, cooling, and space capacity. So what can you do to prepare? Here are three big trends that many businesses are adopting in order to adapt to increasing computing demands:

  1. Virtualisation
  2. Bridging the IT/facility gap
  3. Extending the life of your datacentre.

Although these trends are not new, there are some important things to consider before applying them to your data centre. Embarking on a virtualisation project, using DCIM software to bridge the IT/Facility gap, and extending the life of your data centre with a modular approach not only expands your data centre’s capacity, ensures more uptime, and enhances performance – it also saves you money. In some cases, these three trends dovetail and synergise with one another, since they’re all part of the high-density, next generation data centre. Here are some important considerations that you may not already know about virtualisation, bridging the IT/Facility gap, and extending the life of your data centre. Virtualisation

  1. Servers on average operate at just 15 percent of their capacity. Virtualisation can increase server utilisation by fourfold or more, and can save about $7,680 on the total 10-year TCO cost per server eliminated.
  2. In order to see the significant energy savings, pairing virtualisation with dynamic data centre physical infrastructure (DCPI) managed with DCIM software is absolutely necessary. If power and cooling systems are not scaled to accommodate fewer servers, you can actually degrade your PUE.
  3. In a virtualised environment, the cooling system needs to be dynamic and accurate, with row cooling and variable speed fans that can handle high densities and migrating virtual machines (VMs). DCIM software is at the core of capacity management in a dynamic, high-density environment, because migrating VMs are constantly changing the power and cooling requirements.
  4. When DCIM is included in a virtualised project, it can often increase electricity savings by double or more compared with the savings achieved by virtualisation alone.

Bridging the IT/facility gap

  1. Traditional data centres often waste at least 50 percent of infrastructure capacity because they aren’t engineered to scale and don’t have overarching management capabilities Torell, Wendy. “Data Centre Physical Infrastructure: Optimizing Business Value,” APC by Schneider Electric White Paper #117 Pg. 8. Bridging the IT/facilities gap has been talked about for a while as a solution, but until all-in-one data centre infrastructure management (DCIM) software entered the picture, there wasn’t a catalyst capable of uniting the two historically disparate domains.
  2. Integrated DCPI and DCIM software make bridging the IT/facility gap possible. Integrated DCPI is composed of modular, scalable supporting infrastructure managed via all-in-one DCIM software. It’s easier to make managerial improvements so that facilities and IT managers talk to one another and work collaboratively, but the major benefits of bridging the gap – right-sized DCPI, improvements so that facilities and IT managers talk to one another and work collaboratively, but the major benefits of bridging the gap – right sized DCPI, improved availability, 30 percent energy savings, a PUE of 1.22 or better – are very difficult to achieve without using modular architecture and DCIM software.
  3. With IT refresh cycles of 18-24 months and facilities refreshes every 10-15 years, it’s difficult to imagine these two entities working together coherently without DCIM management software.

Extending the life of your datacentre

  1. The primary issues with ageing data centres are a lack of floor space, outdated, low-density IT equipment, and rigid infrastructure that cannot adapt t changing business needs and, in turn, might even hold back your business.
  2. IT equipment life is now measured in months instead of years, and to the only way that DCPI can adapt to the demands of increasingly high density IT equipment is to use modular, scalable infrastructure managed via DCIM software. Modularity allows you to scale capacity “on-demand”, and make upgrades and repairs much easier than custom arrangements.
  3. Floor space limitations are solved by well-executed consolidation/ virtualisation projects using modular infrastructure, which can reduce the number of servers by 10-30 percent, in turn reducing OpEx expenses. Remember that virtualisation must be paired with integrated DCPI and DCIM software in order to realise the full savings potential and avoid equipment failures caused by hot spots.
  4. New datacentre design can result in a 30 percent reduction in cost, a 50 percent reduction in space requirements, a 60 percent reduction in power requirements, and can more than double the life span of a data centre.

The Traditional “brick-and-mortar” datacentre is not going to be able to handle the coming explosions in data growth. Businesses with outdated data centres will have to make some upgrades to their data centre – a virtualisation project, bridging the IT/facilities gap through integrated DCPI and DCIM software, and/or extending the life of their data centre with a modular approach – or else face a severe uphill battle to stay competitive.

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