The datacentre of the future

The datacentre of the future

With many city-based datacentres struggling to keep up with contemporary IT demands, decision makers are left with the choice of moving on to a newer facility or refurbishing their existing one. But while newly built datacentres can have the latest and greatest energy efficient technologies and environmentally-friendly designs, not everyone is willing or able to migrate to them. For those who do elect to continue with their existing facility the cold, hard truth is that they must refurbish or renovate to keep up with increasing IT demands and financial – and environmental – pressures. ARN spoke with several industry leaders to identify areas the channel could help clients refurbish and renergise the datacentre.

Knowledge base

The first step to any successful project is to undertake your research and planning. In existing datacentres this means knowing exactly what is going on with power, cooling and general processes.

“People have been upgrading datacentres for years, but now all of a sudden people are upgrading datacentres with new drivers and requirements; obviously electricity bills are increasing and there’s the whole green nature that is coming into it. The upgrade is not a facility driven thing, it is organisational and power, IT and cooling are all integrated,” APC datacentre advisor Asia-Pacific and Japan, David Blumanis, said.

“People need to get a baseline or a snapshot of what is actually consuming the energy. What technologies are they deploying or looking at deploying and what is the impact of that decision in the long term?

“If I look at the market overall we are in a sweet spot where the focus is on green, energy efficient, datacentre upgrades. In three years time that wave of focus from CEOs and CFOs is going to dissipate and disappear. So the opportunity to upgrade is now.”

To understand what is happening in the datacentre and also evaluate the impact of potential decisions, several vendors have developed online tools the channel can access. For example, APC recently launched what it calls ‘Trade Off Tools’ which are an online set of calculators that aim to educate customers on the relative gains of various datacentre options.

Dimension Data datacentre solutions general manager, Ronnie Altit, agreed the channel needs to have a solid grasp of what is happening in the datacentre facility but also said it was necessary to forecast where the business is headed.

“From a green perspective it is almost like our hand has been forced, particularly from a capacity perspective,” Altit noted. “Where we are working with customers is really understanding where they are at today and trying to get a picture of where they want to go. That is step one. It is ‘we have a problem’, but let’s understand what has caused the problem. How pervasive is the problem with that datacentre? Because what happens is you generally have areas that are fine and have been fine because you aren’t doing anything fundamentally different with that infrastructure.

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