Data centers never remain static, and new technologies and solutions are continually emerging with promises of faster performance, easier management, and more capabilities. Of course, not all these emerging technologies live up to their promises, but there are always some cool new tools that have hit the market that are worth checking out.
How do you want to define “cool” in terms of data-center technology? There are a number of technologies that promise to have an impact on the future of data centers, including IPv6, artificial intelligence, virtualization, and the evolution of solid-state drives. However, some companies are providing innovations today that are pretty cool. Gartner recently released a report titled “Cool Vendors in Data Center Management, Power and Cooling, 2015.” Here are the four vendors that Gartner identified:
1. Chilldyne – Some data-center hardware vendors are working on broader operating tolerances so equipment can run at higher temperatures. Colocation providers and wholesale data centers are also building more facilities in the mountains or high desert to take advantage of cooler ambient temperatures to reduce chiller costs. Chilldyne has another approach: liquid cooling for data centers.
Chilldyne has developed CoolFlo, a direct-to-chip liquid cooling system that delivers cooling right to the CPU chips, so you are cooling the processors rather than the entire room. Chilldyne posts that its patented system is more reliable and more cost-effective than other solutions. The system is low-risk because it uses conventional heat sinks with a negative pressure pump in order to create a leak-free system. The reliability is also the product of the pump, which has a low flow rate that reduces strain on the pump. And it’s cost-effective and less expensive to operate than air-chilled systems.
2. CoolIT Systems – Another company with an innovative liquid cooling system is CoolIT Systems. The company boasts that if you have access to water, you can use its Rack DCLC modules in order to cool data-center racks.
The system consists of a server module, which has water-cooled cold-plate technology that supports different CPU/GPU combinations. There is also a manifold module with dry-break, “quick-connect” technology that can be used to cool horizontal or vertical blades, chassis, or racks. Finally, there is a heat-exchange module that can be set up with a water supply for liquid-to-liquid cooling or set up as liquid-to-air cooling for stand-alone operations.
3. Romonet – If you are looking to design a new data center or get better performance out of your current data center, Romonet offers “smart” software tools in order to simulate design and performance. The company is touting its software as ideal for building new data centers, validating performance for improving infrastructure design, and buying and selling data centers and their assets.
For data center design, Romonet offers Smart Design, Smart Build, and Smart Validation. As the names imply, each software component provides a unique function in data-center design and deployment. Smart Design assembles all the variables that influence performance and validates if the design will achieve objectives. Smart Build models capital expenditures and operations trade-offs, assessing external factors such as climate, energy costs, and design options in order to assess ROI and TCO. Smart Validation uses predictive modeling in order to test and compare anticipated versus actual data loads, revealing bottlenecks or issues before installations.
For data-center operations, Romonet has Operations Portal, which continuously tracks site performance, systems, and subsystems, comparing findings against modeled performance. It also monitors energy consumption and data capacity issues with alerts. Smart Audit assesses the data-center investment, examining data-center assets with an eye toward ROI, whether or not financial performance can be improved, and where it can be improved.
For buying and selling data centers, Romonet has Project Appraisal, a patented software that performs an investment-grade analysis as part of due diligence. It also has Smart Investment Audit software in order to assess the potential financial performance of a data center.
4. Transitional Data Services (TDS) – TDS is a service and software company that specializes in data-center migration. TDS has a software package called TransitionManager that simplifies migration by identifying all the data-center components and their dependencies. The software starts with discovery and includes dependency mapping, analysis and planning, and generates an automated runbook. TransitionManager also features execution management in order to ensure a smooth transition, as well as event reporting and disaster planning.
On the services side, TDS offers applications migration, cloud migration, data-center relocation and consolidation, monitoring, consulting, and more.
These are only four of the vendors that are taking data-center technology to the next level. Some of their technology could be useful for your next data-center project—you never know.