DCN May 2017 - Page 29

design & facilities Management A major infrastructure refresh is going to be necessary to meet future connectivity demands. and rack size/design. Readers won’t be surprised to hear that IT kits (servers and storage) are being designed ever denser and ever smaller, so the standard cabinets found in today’s data centres could become rather inefficient in terms of space usage in the not too distant future. Not to mention the cabinet design requirements that the Open Compute project generates… And then we move on to the power side of things. Lithium- ion batteries are already making significant inroads into the data centre space. And I’m pretty sure that I’ve read about at least one data centre’s power supply being generated via anaerobic digestion of waste materials. And data centres being situated by hydroelectric dams or having their power supplied by solar energy is almost standard practice in some parts of the world. Also, don’t forget the ‘resurgence’ in liquid cooled servers (not sure that the liquid cooled technology has reached the storage right now, but presumably it’s only a matter of time.) Infrastructure refresh Speed seems to be the number one driver that will impact the data centres of the future. 100G seems to be the objective right now, but you won’t be surprised to hear that that’s just a stepping stone on the way to 200G and 400G connectivity speeds coming our way by the early 2020s, if not before. Now, the cables that can ‘cope’ with these speeds are unlikely to be the ones sitting in the data centre right now. So, a major infrastructure refresh is going to be necessary. Oh, and while the cables are being replaced, it’s probably just as well to think about the cabinet May 2017 | 29