The data center colocation industry has always faced the challenge of achieving the right balance between space and power. As space becomes more precious, power density has increased considerably over the last few years. Colocation providers are finding innovative ways to find the right power density for optimal operations.

Data Center Power DensityTen years ago, the standard for power density was in the range of 4-5 kW per rack. Today, this has progressed to a low density in the range of 8-10 kW per rack, an average power density of 15-16 kW per rack and even more ambitious providers that go above 20 kW per rack. Understandably, the higher the power density, the more heated the rack will be, and more resources need to be provided for cooling. Hence increasing power density is not always a straight forward and simple solution to increasing data center power efficiency.

Research shows that when the average per rack power density is greater than 7 kW per rack, the space utilization goes down to almost 50%. This is because almost 50% of the space is then needed by power and cooling equipment alone, and only 50% of the space can be utilized by the actual IT equipment. One of the innovations to solve this issue is to divide the data center into different zones. Many clients do not need higher power densities and end up having to pay for them because of the inefficient designs of the data centers.

A data center that is designed by taking flexible power density capacity into consideration can provide more customer satisfaction than one that is rigid in its power density capacity. A row based solution is a popular way to implement power density zones since both power and cooling equipment can be deployed in a row design. The advantage of this is that a low power density zone will have only adequate power and cooling designated to it and the cost will be assigned like wise. The same data center can also cater to clients needing higher power densities by having zones with rack space and appropriate power and cooling that can handle high densities.

For the best recommendations on how to manage your data center with the most efficient power density, do get in touch with the experts at Lifeline Data Centers for a consultation.

Alex Carroll

Alex Carroll

Managing Member at Lifeline Data Centers
Alex, co-owner, is responsible for all real estate, construction and mission critical facilities: hardened buildings, power systems, cooling systems, fire suppression, and environmentals. Alex also manages relationships with the telecommunications providers and has an extensive background in IT infrastructure support, database administration and software design and development. Alex architected Lifeline’s proprietary GRCA system and is hands-on every day in the data center.