Building A Smart Data Center For The Future

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Building A Smart Data Center For The Future

 

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Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s smart data center. It is “studying data centers’ power generation, conversion, and distribution as well as cooling challenges and deploying and promoting adoption of novel energy efficient technologies.” Click to enlarge.

Running a modern data center has become an essential requisite to the operations of any IT-based organization. However, it seems that boasting of a high tech data center just isn’t enough. IT firms are looking at ways to optimize their current data center environment in order to efficiently manage operational costs.

If you take a look at cost management, one of the biggest ways of controlling expenditures is to lower power consumption. But how do you maintain a consumption-heavy data center while resourcefully controlling costs?

The answer lies in creating a smart data center that uses ingenious power management.

How will IT firms manage this? With the rapid turnover of technology, consumers make more data demands. On the other hand, organizations find themselves relying even more heavily on data center environments to meet these demands. It will fall on data center administrators to ensure that their data center’s infrastructure can hold up in terms of sustainability and energy efficiency. Data centers will need to be agile enough to meet consumer needs, as well.

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Here are some approaches IT professionals and consultants recommend for the creation of an “ideal” smart data center:

  1. Go back to the basics – to create the ideal smart data center, organizations will have to go back to the basics and take a look at their data center’s current energy, facility, power and maintenance management systems. Data administrators will need to be proactive with their access to real-time data in order to understand the information they receive and act accordingly.
  2. Use prefabricated solutions for data center infrastructure – a prefabricated data center is built based on the requirements of an organization. This is one key to a smarter data center. Using prefabricated solutions allow companies to scale out their infrastructure and manage their space and capacity according to what they need and what their users demand. This way, data center administrators know exactly what they’re getting and how they’ll use it as cost-efficiently and effectively as possible.
  3. Leverage smart batteries – in a data center’s electric grid, there are daily peak periods and low traffic periods. Running all servers at full power, whether they are needed or not, will only raise power consumption levels and result in increase costs. Data center administrators can reduce the grid-based power usage during peak times with smart batteries installed to their servers. These batteries can be charged at night when server demands are low and when power rates are cheaper.
  4. Install a power monitoring system – using custom power management software will help data center administrators pinpoint areas in the infrastructure where energy costs need to be reduced. This system controls power consumption, and improves a data center’s data gathering capabilities where needed.

These are just four ways on how you can build a smart data center.

IT firms will need to plan for a future where data centers will be buffeted by constant and rapid change. By building smart data centers, they will be able to sustain an environment with a more transparent infrastructure.

Photo courtesy of PNNL – Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

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