Raising Data Center Power Density

(Source: Data Center Journal)

For companies resisting the temptation to outsource to the cloud, data center design and operation decisions can be extremely difficult in the face of mounting budget pressures, rising demand and limited resources, like floor space. Colocation providers face similar challenges in maximizing both the value they deliver to customers and their own returns on services. A critical trend in data center design is increasing power density. Given limitations on space and the need for more-efficient operation to counter the effects of rising power demand and cost, packing more resources into each rack is an obvious solution. But in addition to its benefits, increasing power density carries a number of challenges that data center operators must address.

Low power densities often equate to poor efficiency. More precious floor space is consumed by fewer IT resources (perhaps measured in operations per second, or some similar metric), and generally, more equipment must be maintained. Ben Coughlin, CFO and cofounder of Colovore, a Santa Clara–based high-density colocation provider, notes that “typical data center customer deployments today are in the range of 8–12 kW per rack, although density requirements in the mid-teens and approaching 20 kW+ are not uncommon for processing-intensive applications like big data analytics. But in the Bay Area and a lot of the U.S., the typical data center features 4–5 kW per rack (this was the build standard 10 years ago).”…

Full article at Data Center Journal (PDF)