DCN May 2017 - Page 33

Legacy hit the limit – or so we think. Like me, we have hit middle age, thinking we are still ‘OK’ but masking the decline caused by the passing of the years and a change in priority driven by limited public sector spending, a little neglect and a lack of investment. A hard limit Data centre technology continues to evolve at pace. Moore’s law seems to continue unabated. What was once housed in a data centre can now be outperformed by a single server. Back when we started 4kW per rack was considered a hard limit. Today, data centre designs include racks approaching 20 to 30kW. With extreme facilities experimenting with racks at 50kW using air cooled methods. Manufacturers of IT equipment have extended the life of air cooled technology by designing for higher inlet temperatures. Combined with efficient data centre design, such as containment and airflow management, cooling can be delivered more effectively. These advances have thrust new life into technology that had been thought of as approaching end of life. This extension of traditional technology goes some way to explain why new and innovative technologies such as close coupled water and immersion cooling are still niche. Back to athletes. A holistic use of technology, data analytics and the increased understanding of physiology, diet, performance, training and recovery has seen records continually broken. Investment in today’s athletes includes the provision of a coach, a physiotherapist, a masseur – and others – sports psychologists, nutritionist and data analyst all on hand to join the dedicated team using real time data to bring about the optimum performance. Push the boundaries We, the operations managers, are the athletes. We have the technology and a team of experts at our disposal. We have an increasing array of tools and techniques enabling us to push the boundaries and optimise the performance of our systems. Using automation, environmental monitoring, intelligent PDUs, coupled with new cooling technologies offer the opportunity to be leaner, fitter – better. Getting a grip of assets including any underlying shadow IT, carrying out aggressive decommissioning of legacy infrastructure and cabling. These are tough and formidable challenges that are not for the faint hearted. Bringing them all together in one place requires discipline. This analogy is true when relifing an old data centre. Take DCIM, perhaps the biggest challenge of them all, for instance. Getting the most out of your solution is tough. I’ve met many data centre managers who have tried to implement DCIM only to fall off the pace when they reach the point of ‘We’re OK’. As a result they vastly underutilise the power of the tool. I can see a much better world and perhaps more importantly, a true return on investment, if we push ourselves, putting in the extra effort to mount the summit. Sometimes it is easier to build new and retire the old, we see examples every day, but at what cost? Typically, it is dependent on several factors in selecting your data centre and facilities – resilience, IT, cooling, networking etc. the cost can range from £3m – £8m per megawatt – including build. Undoubtedly the time from breaking ground to completion can be shortened but there is a Moore’s law seems to continue unabated. What was once housed in a data centre can now be outperformed by a single server. cost for the additional resources to deliver a short timescale. If you look across our indust '&VƖWfPFBFW&R2&WBf"&VƖfpBFF6VG&W2FVVBV&W b6W2&RFrW7BFCWfVFrB'VFw2F6fW'Bf"FF6VG&RW6R6R7vW bFRW7FrVv776P27VF&RFVFRN( 2&VFfVǒ6R7vW"vPfRFRFV2BW"F76vRrFR&W2VVFVBFF֗6RW&f&6RB'V@f"FRgWGW&RvBvRVV@F6V7W&R2FRfW7FV@FB&62WfW'FWFRFPvƖvW72F&6W"&ƗG@VFvVVBvF6&FfVǐ6fW7FVB6&VBFWr'VBB6RfFfPF涖r( 6f6VBvR6'&VFRƖfRFW"Vv7FF6VG&W2rFVfBf"#7@6VGW'v&B672'W6W76W2gFW"v&B672VVG0F'VF&VvFRVF&P&v6FBW7BFBv627W7FW"f6rf"BF&PG'Vǒv&B672FRf6VVG2F&RƗfVB'&VFV@BFRVff'B7VB&FW"FG&6f&Vv7FVvF7rFRVff'B6&fFP67B6fw2V"זV#G&fpWVff6V7v7BG&frFvFR766FVB67G2bvW B6ƖrआrFrFFN( 2f F6( ( 7F( 'WBpB76FVǒ&VƖWfRF@6VB&R&WGFW"BFW20&VƖVb7&VFfGfW7FVB@Vff'BƖRFRFWFRbBR&RN( 2FRFFFPVF'Vr6W2B7F'@WGFrFRVff'BFG&fRW W7FFRFFRWBWfVW&06RbR6VBF&W@BF#r3