Network Communications News (NCN) NCN-Sept2017 - Page 45

KNOW HOW There is a common misconception that running low density racks instead of higher density ones will be less costly when it comes to power but the reverse is actually the case. Running fewer high density racks than lower density ones will yield a lower total cost of ownership because they have far superior compute capabilities while using significantly less data centre resource; switchgear, UPS, power, cooling towers and pumps, chillers, lighting and so on. Therefore, it’s increasingly important that a data centre provider designs their facility to accommodate high density racks and can achieve the right balance between rack space and power. Many racks installed in data centres now consume more than 10kW, and some even 60kW! Few can supply this level of power per rack today and this ‘As cloud services have developed over the past few years so have the data centre infrastructures required to support their critical workloads.’ problem is only going to get worse. Out of town locations typically offer a more abundant supply. NGD’s mega data centre in South Wales, for example, has a total capacity of 180MW available. Facilities which are less dependent on multiple pylon hops, where cables will be particularly exposed to climatic wear and tear, or better still, connecting directly to the national grid, are also likely to benefit from far greater reliability and smoother transmission. Mitigating the risk of outages with deployment of diverse power feeds and ensuring adequate back up (battery and generator) is also a primary concern for enterprise and colocation operators. Clearly being able to generate some or all power from renewables is a major cost saving benefit, not to mention from a CSR perspective with the increasingly rigorous environmental compliance demanded by governments and expected by customers. Energy management PUE is a big driver in the data centre as the power required is so vast. As well as using ‘Green Power’ the processes and procedures to lower the PUE should focus particularly on reducing power for cooling. This will require a combination of close-coupled CRACs, hot and cold aisle containment, higher data hall temperatures and, assuming sufficiently low ambient temperatures are available, fresh air cooling. Faced with these challenges best practice dictates that data centre and facilities professionals will increasingly need to apply real-time analysis and monitoring techniques to the data centre itself - for optimising cooling systems plant and maintaining appropriate operating temperatures for IT assets, without fear of compromising performance and uptime. An advanced system will save thousands of pounds through reduced power costs and by minimising the environmental impact while helping to ensure maximum uptime through predictive maintenance. Connectivity Last but not least, as well as offering sufficient renewably sourced power and efficient energy management, one should not overlook data centre connectivity, especially with hybrid cloud deployments in the ascendancy. Combining private and public models as well as legacy systems together, hybrid clouds necessitate data centres providing diverse, low latency connectivity. This is critical for ensuring a seamless, secure interchange of data between the different environments, no matter if it’s a hybrid cloud supporting a few hundred users nationwide, or several thousand spread across the globe. It must be able to scale without degradation and therefore requires circumnavigating the public internet with the data centre directly connecting into global cloud provider hyperscale networks. September 2017 | 45