CDC: traditional datacentre models are flawed and inefficient

Old-school methods of building datacentres do not deliver ‘bang for buck’ and fail to provide power consumption efficiency, according to CDC's Greg Boorer.

The old ways of building datacentres do not deliver ‘bang for buck’ and power consumption efficiency, according to CDC managing director, Greg Boorer.

The traditional way of building datacentres is flawed, inefficient from an energy conservation perspective and won’t deliver ‘bang-for-buck’, according to Canberra Data Centres (CDC) managing director, Greg Boorer.

He was giving a presentation at the DPSA’s Datacentre Carbon Tax: Are you prepared? event last week.

With the Federal Government’s promising to impose a carbon price on big emitters such as power companies, the flow on effect will impact datacentre operations by the way of cost passed through power consumption.

There has yet to be a definitive pricing structure set for the carbon tax.

Boorer said a datacentre had an average lifespan of 18 years and the real estate it sits on is generally a 20-year bet with the banks. The curve ball here is with technology changing so rapidly, the equipment in that facility could be made obsolete in the short space of three years.

“Scary thing if you’re going to invest upwards of $100 million dollars into a piece of real estate,” Boorer said. “What chance have I got to be able to build the datacentre that is going to be fit for purpose in the next three to twenty years when I’ll just be recovering my $100 million dollars?

“Traditional models have failed miserably in this way.”

He was referring to the practice of building a massive datacentre which will take 10 years to fill, during which it operates inefficiently and does not provide a good return on capital.

This model also stifles the ability for clients to grow within a datacentre, Boorer said.

He recommended datacentres to build small and build often as one of the remedies to problems brought about by traditional models. That is, to build once and build often with modular designs for sustained growth which can extend the overall lifecycle of the facility to about 60 years.

“We build a series of mini datacentres within a datacentre and each is customised on a workload basis,” he said. “This means closer coupling and integration between underlying cooling and power infrastructures with the ICT workload it has to support.”

By adopting a best practice design such utilising virtualisation and reassessment of power equipments, it is possible to reduce electrical consumption significantly, according to Boorer.

The Carbon Tax is expected to be implemented by 1 July 2012. Finer details of the plan have yet to be announced.

More about: DPSA, Federal Government, PSA
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Tags: ICT, Canberra Data Centres, carbon tax, DPSA Datacentre Carbon Tax: Are you prepared?, datacentres, power equipment, virtualisation
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