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4 ways high-density data centers can reduce operational costs

September 18, 2017

4 ways high-density data centers can reduce operational costs

The National Resources Defense Council projects that U.S. data centers will consume 139 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity by 2020—a 53% increase from 2013 to 2020. Organizations are scrambling to store the data they create and copy in an economical way.

Enter high density

High-density data center construction is trending as a viable option across the global marketplace. IT managers who push for them will build a case for reduced capital expenditures and lower operating costs across the board. Here are 4 ways high-density data centers can decrease total IT spend:

1) A space play

An “equipment footprint” typically equates to the actual space a computer device or equipment takes  in a room or on the floor of a data center facility. Compared to traditional data centers, which are only built to handle about 4–5 kW of critical power per cabinet, high-density data centers can occupy half the space to support the same amount of equipment.

Since space is money, this is an obvious consideration for many organizations. It must be noted that increasing power measurement at the outlet level is still a critical step toward an effective implementation of high-density environments.

2) NVMe

On the component side, NVMe (non-volatile memory express) enables data centers to realize full flash potential without compatibility issues. It’s an optimized, high-performance, scalable host controller interface with a streamlined register interface and command set.

NVMe was designed specifically for flash memory communication and allows solid state drives to connect to the system using the PCIe bus. Often looked at as the new industry standard, NVMe lowers power consumption by reducing latency in the host software stack—all while increasing input/output operations.

3) Ever-increasing power

Ten years ago, 2–4 kW per rack was considered high density. Today, it’s closer to 10–12 kW per rack. If the best indicator of future behavior is past behavior, high-density data centers will continue to increase in power while occupying a small, dense space.

4) Maximizing cooling

Much is talked about in terms of space and square feet regarding high-density environments, but IT must also consider cooling densities. A high-density data center is designed to maximize the usage of cooling. Air distribution is more consistent, and cooling units can more effectively match cooling to IT load. When built out correctly, cooling costs are dramatically reduced and significant savings can be realized on the operations side.

Want to learn more about incredibly shrinking data centers? Read 5 things you should know about hyperconvergence.