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Gartner Analysts Examine Data Center Power and Cooling Challenges During Gartner's 25th Annual Data Center Conference, November 28 - December 1, in Las Vegas
Organizations are increasingly deploying more computing power, but, by 2008, 50 percent of current data centers will have insufficient power and cooling capacity to meet the demands of high-density equipment, according to Gartner, Inc.
Gartner analysts discussed new solutions in power and cooling management at the Gartner 25th Annual Data Center Conference, which is taking place here through December 1.
“With the advent of high density computer equipment such as blade servers, many data centers have maxed out their power and cooling capacity,” said Michael A. Bell, research vice president for Gartner. “It’s now possible to pack racks with equipment requiring 30,000 watts per rack or more in connected load. This compares to only 2,000-3,000 watts per rack a few years ago.”
“Increased power translates into significant increase in heat gain, where the electrical cost to cool the data center can equal or exceed the power to energize the computer equipment,” Mr. Bell said. “The heat produced by this high density requires new solutions in power and cooling management, specialty cooling solutions, data center design and layout, and processor efficiency.”
Traditionally the power required for non-IT equipment in the data center (for example, cooling, fans and pumps) represented about 60 percent of total annual energy consumption. As power requirements continue to grow, energy costs will emerge as the second highest operating cost in 70 percent of worldwide data center facilities by 2009. However, a flurry of innovation is under way that will converge during the next three years to substantially mitigate the power/cooling issue.
“Equipment manufacturers are developing more energy-efficient enclosures, processors and cooling solutions,” Mr. Bell said. “The leading processor manufacturers are battling to produce more energy efficient chipsets. Server manufacturers are employing more-efficient power supplies, heat sinks and power management systems, as well as offering a host of in-rack cooling solutions, supplemented by facility design and assessment services. We’ll see fully integrated management systems that will monitor and manager server workloads and power/cooling demand and optimize capacities in real time.”
To build an optimized, reliable and efficient facilities environment, Gartner recommends that data center managers take a holistic approach in planning, designing and laying out the data center to optimize power and cooling capacity. This should include looking at all the variables from site location to building type, building systems, rack configuration, equipment deployment, and airflow dynamics must be integrated and optimized.
“Although the power and cooling challenges will not be a perpetual problem, it is important for data center managers to focus on the electrical and cooling issue in the near team, and adopt these best practices to mitigate the problem before it results in equipment failure, downtime and high remediation costs,” said Mr. Bell.
The 25th Annual Gartner Data Center Conference is the most comprehensive compilation of sessions and advice on the future of the data center ever held. It offers the latest actionable insights and best practices in all areas affecting the data center – real-time infrastructure to servers and storage to business continuity and disaster recovery. The Gartner Data Center Conference hits the critical spot between strategic planning and tactical advice for IT organizations as they look to implement new technologies into their data centers and maintain the most efficient data center they can. For complete event details, please visit the Gartner Data Center Conference Web site at www.gartner.com/us/datacenter. More than 100 companies are sponsors exhibiting at the conference. A listing of Gartner Data Center conference sponsors is available at the conference Web site.
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