Archive for April 2012

The evolution of datacenter design

What is it that clients want from a datacenter? Well, that’s entirely dependent on the client. Connectivity and uptime are always important to every customer, and any service has to come at the right price. The ecological impact and desire to be carbon neutral is also a key factor for a client’s choice of datacenter. There is an array of eco-friendly datacenters where power usage effectiveness (PUE) is decreasing rapidly, but the industry average is still around 2.0.

 

The problem is most datacenters are old, and updating these buildings is costly and complicated for both the datacenter and its clients.  But new build datacenters are introducing more and more innovative design to help reduce PUE, a consequential fall out cost for the client. Innovative design and investment in research and development is vital for the industry.  Here are a few things to look out for if you’re in search of a new, sustainable datacenter.

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Power and Cooling in the Datacenter

Datacenters are notoriously power hungry. What might surprise you to learn is that the most power-hungry element of the typical datacenter is not the servers at all – but the cooling systems that are needed to prevent the servers from over-heating.

In recent years, as servers have increased in capacity and speed, the amount of heat generated has increased massively. This means datacenters need to work harder than ever to maintain an optimum temperature.

Datacenters need to offer these high-capacity, fast servers to meet customer demand, but using this technology creates real issues around energy consumption and efficiency. First and foremost, in many cases, is the issue of cost – powering cooling systems is expensive, so anything a company can do that reduces the need for cooling has to be a good thing.

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EvoSwitch – putting the power back into your servers

Power Usage Efficiency is a tremendously important term when talking about servers. You’ve heard us talking about it, you’ve seen our articles about it, you know it’s what makes us competitive. But in order to take it to another level we’ve started something new at EvoSwitch….

Together with TNO and many other partners, we have started working on a project which can be found when Googling the term Flexiquest. So, what’s it all about? Flexiquest examines the effects of managing demand for all parties in the energy value chain: producers, trading partners, (regional) grid administrators as well as the end users. Flexiquest is working toward business models that will enable all the parties in the chain to determine what more sustainable energy will mean for them specifically. “To what extent can we make the demand for energy more flexible?”, “What does more sustainable energy mean for the regional electricity transmission system operators in terms of grid transmission and the costs involved?”, and “What does more sustainable energy mean for the tariff that end users pay?” All these questions play an important role in this regard.

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