For a lot of older city datacentres the juices just aren’t flowing any more. In fact, getting more power has become a chronic pain point that is affecting performance.
“We are seeing a lot of challenges with clients where they are growing and moving to blade technology and trying to incorporate more but really haven’t put a lot of thought into their datacentre environment over the years,” HP datacentre services practice manager, Mark Toner, said. “A lot of the datacentres are approaching end of life and now are at a point where they need more power but can’t physically get it off the grid. Sydney CBD is a classic example; it is well known you can’t pull another circuit off the grid, so you are really stuck.”
In capital cities around the country the electricity grid is at full capacity and unless customers are willing to wait for a substation to be built – which can take years – you have to take action to reduce power consumption now.
“You will need to go on a diet,” Emerson Network Power director of marketing, Peter Spiteri, said. “There is no such thing as a gastric bypass in a datacentre. You have to do the hard yards.”
While consolidation, virtualisation and getting on the good side of building management to squeeze a bit more electricity out of them are good approaches, the first thing to do is get your hands on a copy of the power bill and baseline existing consumption.
“A lot of IT shops don’t know how much power they are using, they don’t know how much it is costing – that is kind of an eye opener,” Toner said.
Spiteri said deploying supplemental cooling technologies to reduce the power draw of traditional cooling equipment (such as computer room air conditioners) was another winner.
“Our research shows that this type of infrastructure accounts for about 40 per cent of the total power draw of a typical datecentre, but with the use of supplemental cooling this is reduced to about 25 per cent of the total power draw, hence freeing up some capacity for current and future IT deployments like blades or VoIP,” he said.