Posted on October 30, 2017 by Gento | Comments (12)
Data center growth is on the rise, spurred by the digital age that we're now living in. A major component and driver of this expansive growth is the popularity of the ‘Internet of Things’. Data center construction is expected grow at an incredible rate of 21% per year between now and 2018. They're such an essential part of our daily lives that 23 states now offer tax incentives to help attract new projects, while 16 others states offer tax incentives that total a combined $1.5 billion.
As the need for newer and more efficient data centers continues to increase, it demands the question - "... where exactly are we supposed to put them all?" Data centers are hardly small operations. In China, the Range International Information Hub data center covers an astounding 6.3 million square feet, just slightly smaller than the Pentagon. While not every data center makes it to this size, it's still a potential problem that has to be addressed sooner rather than later.
Thankfully, a wide range of innovative teams have worked to come up with a number of unique solutions. In terms of the latest innovative data center trends, it should come as no surprise that a large number of them have to do with optimizing physical space. Additional priorities for these teams include making resources more readily available in a more reliable, stable manner, all of which are addressed by the following examples.
Microsoft and Project Natick
If you want a clear-cut example of how far "thinking outside the box" will get you, look no further than Microsoft and Project Natick. The team behind Project Natick saw that as cloud computing continued to grow in importance worldwide, it essentially transcended its original intention. It was about more than just having "anywhere, anytime" access to data and became an essential driver of economic growth and global resources.
With that in mind, Project Natick was born in an effort to relocate data center resources as close as possible to the users who need them most. As 50% of society resides near large bodies of water, the ocean made perfect sense. This type of unique deep-water deployment concept immediately offered ready access to cooling, renewable power sources and a heavily controlled environment - all essential ingredients for successful data center operation.
Though Project Natick (and the vessel the Leona Philpot that will play a pivotal role in its existence) continues to undergo testing, analysis, and refitting, the project is closer than ever to completion.
Nautilus' Floating Data Centers
Another example of innovation in action has to do with the concept of the "floating data center." This concept takes everything you need to support the entirety of the mechanical and electrical infrastructure and installs it directly onto a floating barge.
In 2015, the startup Nautilus and its two founders, Arnold Magcale and Daniel Kekai created a plan to do precisely that in the San Francisco Bay area. They quickly started construction on a floating data center at a dock on a US Navy shipyard located just 20 miles northeast of San Francisco.
Nautilus is not the only example, however, Google also patented a tide-powered floating data center idea. Much like Project Natick, these floating data centers will get mission-critical resources as close to users as possible, all while allowing operators access to a heavily controlled environment in a way that better prepares them to meet the demands of the next ten years and beyond.
As data centers rapidly grow in numbers we can only expect more of the “out of the box” thinking in design and operations. The future holds the truth when it comes to what will be the new face of data centers. So stay tuned to this very exciting world.
Posted on May 22, 2018 by Gento | Comments (4)
Top Four Concerns for Data Center Managers
Preparedness is often the first step for resolving potential challenges and devising solutions. As such, in order to properly prepare for the future of data centers, it is important to first understand the top concerns for data center managers.
1. Climate Change. -- In a recent 2018 study, more than 50 percent of participating organizations were concerned about the potential for climate change disruptions to existing data centers. Throughout the globe, organizations need to take into consideration the potentially negative impacts of rising temperatures, growing floodplains, and an increase in violent storms. All three types of climate change coincide with the increase in region-wide disasters. In order to prepare for this potential challenge, data centers need to include disaster and emergency planning efforts into the broader business continuity plans for the entire organization.
2. Data Center Infrastructure Security Threats. -- Due to the nature of the sensitive business and personal information that they hold, data centers need to remain vigilant for potential infrastructure security threats. Recent studies show that these attacks are more frequently being conducted on an IP-basis. As such, organizations need to effectively control how machines are connected to their data centers. Through private networks, a limited number of access points, and stringent monitoring systems, data centers can remain prepared to effectively combat infrastructure security threats.
3. Emerging Edge Computing Capacity. -- Edge computing is set to be one of the emerging technologies that disrupt the data center sector. This type of technology is a direct response for the need to process data closer to where it is generated, consumed, integrated, and computed. As with any emerging data center technology, the concern for many managers lies in security and data sovereignty. However, as organizations require access to data at the "edge," these solutions will continue to be implemented for a variety of purposes. From "store and forward," to data consolidation and backup, self-contained micro-modular data centers will play a key role in deploying a viable solution for edge computing.
4. DCIM Strategies. -- Data center complexity is on the rise. As a response to this increased complexity, the requirements for control, management, and visibility from DCIM software has also grown. Fortunately, DCIM products have recently matured to now offer rich, scalable, and stable management solutions to increase the forecasting, agility, and efficiencies of data centers. While it is still an under-deployed technology, it is expected that as it continues to mature, so too will it become a more widely adopted solution. The challenge for data center managers will be creating and implementing the operational changes needed to support DCIM software.
The Bottom Line: Be Prepared for Upcoming Challenges
Climate change, data center infrastructure security threats, edge computing, and DCIM strategies are all concerning areas for data center managers. As these emerging technologies continue to be adopted, data centers will need to take a proactive approach. Through a state of preparedness, data centers can more readily adopt the technologies needed to meet the growing needs of organizations. Finally, with the right knowledge and preparation, data centers can continue to grow and evolve as they adopt new technologies, address the concerns of data center managers, and meet the evolving needs of organizations.
Find out how Raritan can help solve your power data center concerns. Visit our website here.
Posted on May 17, 2018 by Gento | Comments (4)
With the rapid expansion of data centers creating highly complex IT infrastructures, it’s becoming more important than ever to find ways to increase the efficiency of day-to day operations. One of the most practical ways to achieve improved efficiency is through devices that are easy to use and easy to deploy.
Posted on May 4, 2018 by Gento | Comments (2)
Major changes in data centers operations have historically involved the location of data processing. At one time, this function was moved off-site to mainframes, but the advent of microcomputers, now known as desktops or PCs, brought data processing back to the customer’s own data center. Cloud servers and collocated data centers resulted in data processing being performed off-site once again.
Today, some organizations are using micro data centers to process data on their own premises. This solution can provide performance improvements that justify the initial expense of a data center and has the potential to gain wide acceptance in the near future.
Posted on April 25, 2018 by Gento | Comments (17)
If you’re an IT leader, you’ve probably made significant investments in data center management over the past few years. That’s because the success of the organization you serve depends heavily on the technical and economic performance of your data center. So the more digital your organization becomes, the smarter you have to be about how you manage your data center infrastructure.
Chances are, though, that you’ve focused on aggregate management of your data center as a whole. That’s good – but it will only get you so far. To fully optimize the value your business derives from its data center capex and opex, you must aggressively pursue operational excellence at the rack level.
Posted on April 25, 2018 by Gento | Comments (16)
An Intelligent Power Distribution Unit (iPDU) is a networked power distribution unit that increases the efficiencies of data centers with real-time remote power monitoring, environmental monitoring, and data center infrastructure integration. Intelligent rack PDUs deliver technologies which enables a smarter IT infrastructure so you can stay ahead of problems before they occur. They help achieve the ultimate goal of any data center manager, maintaining uptime while reducing cost.