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Disruptive Technologies Changing Data Centers: Part 1

Posted on July 13, 2018 by Gento

When we think of the word "disruptive," we often think of something troublesome. However, when it comes to disruptive technologies the opposite is true. As we will discuss in this three-part series, these disruptive technologies are innovative and helping data centers evolve to meet growing needs.

 

Disruptive Technology #1: Chiller Free Cooling 
Oftentimes disruptive technologies are designed as a response to financial needs; chiller free cooling is one of these technologies. Chiller free cooling is aimed at lowering the air temperature in a data center by utilizing naturally cool air or water. Chiller free cooling involves widening the cooling set points to eliminate the mechanical refrigeration on an IT load. By eliminating mechanical cooling, data centers can begin to reduce one of the largest capital costs, electricity.

Who will adopt this technology? 

  • Many mechanical cooling suppliers who have not begun the process of diversification are likely to adopt this innovative technology. 
  • Data center operators will also consider using chiller free cooling solutions.
  • IT equipment suppliers who need to cover operations costs when temperatures and humidity levels are heightened. 

Why will this technology continue to be adopted?

  • Reduced Power Requirements: A chiller free data center offers lower peak power requirements. It also has the benefit of drastically reducing capital outlays to further free up power capacity.
  • Increased Operational Savings: The main reason that chiller free cooling will be adopted is for its reduction in operational costs. Chiller free cooling is designed to greatly reduce maintenance costs, increase energy savings, and eliminate the need for facility engineers to enter data halls while the IT equipment is operating.

The reality is that it is well within a data center operator's capabilities to build an energy and cost efficient facility. The challenge facing a widespread adoption of chiller free data centers lies in the fear of vast operating temperature bands. However, experts agree that the benefits of chiller free data centers will outweigh this fear as the ability to shed excess capital costs will be embraced. 

Disruptive Technology #2: Micro-Embedded Datacenters
A Micro-embedded data center is a modular or containerized and smaller than a computer room — typically one rack or less. All required IT functionalities are contained in the micro data center, designed to handle your specific needs at distributed locations and typically managed from a larger data center. In fact, this evolving technology can even be built into existing building management systems that control numerous domains of operation.

Who will adopt this technology?

  • Colocation providers who have outdated data centers.
  • Data center equipment suppliers who don't have an established relationship with integrating prefabricated modular (PFM) data centers.

Why will this technology continue to be adopted?

  • Higher Speed Demands: Micro-embedded data centers effectively respond to the increase in demand for high speed connections, as well as a higher traffic volume, can clog Internet links, switches, and clog access points.
  • Accommodates Edge Computing: All too often the amount of data generated by applications is too great for existing networks to handle. Micro-embedded data centers are suitable to edge computing and can be used to resolve these data generation, storage, and security strains.
  • Closer Proximity To Users: A large benefit to micro-embedded data centers are their ability to be installed and operated close to users to more effectively respond to needs. This innovative technology offers IT professionals the ability to retain physical ownership of both the computing resources and the data.

The optimization of digital infrastructures will cause micro-embedded data centers to be actively adopted. As the demands for edge computing increases, organizations will have to increase both capacity and proximity to users via the speed and ease of installation that micro-embedded data centers offer.

The Bottom Line: The Adoption Of Disruptive Technologies Will Continue
Chiller free and micro-embedded data centers are just two of the disruptive technologies that will continue to help the industry grow and evolve. As technological demands for data generation, security, and storage continue to increase, more disruptive technologies will emerge to provide viable solutions. In Part 2 of this series, we will explore two technologies that will change the very infrastructure and design of IT systems.

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Sources:

  • https://www.anixter.com/content/dam/anixter/resources/brochures/anixter-micro-data-center-brochure-en.pdf

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