Data center managers are constantly concerned about power outages and cooling inefficiencies. CIOs are confused about the kind of data centers they need to build or rent, and how much capacity they will require in the next decade. Companies fail to meet their predicted growth levels and are paying for unused capacity. In spite of all these problems, most vendors see continued growth in data centers over the next five years. Cisco predicts that data center traffic will reach 6.6 zettabytes by 2016 – a four-fold increase from today!
Research VP of Gartner, John R. Phelps said, “Many data centers are running out of power and cooling capacity, and still need to expand. To accommodate hardware infrastructure growth requirements, and help avoid the high capital cost of expanding or building a new data center, businesses are looking for technologies that increase power and cooling efficiencies in the data center.”
So, here are some technologies and trends in 2013 that will create “super efficient data centers” and foster the growth of data center traffic in coming years.
- Energy efficiency through data center location: Devouring about 25% of the total operating expenditures, energy costs usually top the inefficiency list. Enterprise data centers traditionally use twice as much power as they need for computing. This measure of power consumed per computing unit is called the Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE). An ideal PUE of 1.0 means that power flowing in a data center is used completely for computing, without any waste – a dream come true for any data center.But Google showed that it could operate multiple data centers at a PUE of 1.16 in year 2010, and decreased it to 1.14 in 2011. Also, by choosing the right location for its data center (Prineville, Ore and east of Cascades, close to cheap hydropower facility), Facebook showed that energy consumed for cooling can be reduced, efficiently bringing down the PUE to 1.09.
- New energy: Alternate forms of energy were probably the last on a data center list until the excess natural gas from underground shale formations in South Dakota proved to be a better alternative. The US is experimenting this abundantly available, cheap gas in onsite generators, hoping that it would meet their needs.
- Bringing data to the source: In the future, data centers will concentrate on bringing data they are working with to the site, instead of bringing power to data. This means data centers will be located close to self-renewing sources of energy.
Learning how to manage your data centers efficiently is crucial in 2013. Interested in discussing the efficiency of your data center? Call the experts.