Your data center is supporting more users, more business use cases, and a lot more data. Digital content and the Internet of Things are generating ever more data and will continue to do so. All of this places resource challenges on the data center facility. The latest Cisco Cloud Index report shows that globally, the data created by IoE devices (Cisco calls it the Internet of Everything) will be 277 times higher than the amount of data being transmitted to data centers from end-user devices and 47 times higher than total data center traffic by 2018. So, how are data center operators responding? What are they doing to create better environmental controls? What’s being done to better support this growing dependency on the data center and the resources it provides?
In the latest State of the Data Center Survey by Data Center Knowledge sister organization AFCOM we asked respondents about their data centers and how they are managing their most critical components.
Because of the big dependency on data center services, redundancy and uptime are big concerns. We saw fairly steady trends around redundant power levels today and over the next three years. For example, at least 55 percent already have, and will continue to have, N+1 redundancy. Similarly, no more than 5 percent of respondents have today or plan to have in the future 2(N+1) redundant power systems. For the most part, data center managers are using at least one level of redundancy for power.
Like power, cooling must be a big consideration in the cloud and digital age. Data centers are increasing density, and cooling is critical to keep operations running efficiently. When we look at cooling, more than 58 percent indicated that they currently run and will continue to run at least N+1 redundant cooling systems. Both today and three years from now, 18 percent said they will operate an N+2 cooling redundancy architecture.
Seventy percent of respondents indicated that power density (per rack) has increased over the past three years. Twenty-six percent indicated that this increase was significant. This has forced managers to look at new and creative ways to power their data centers.
There is also an increased interest in renewable energy for data centers. For example, 34 percent have either deployed or are planning to deploy within the next 18 months a renewable energy source for their data center. Those who already use alternative energy sources as part of their their data center energy mix split in the following way:
- Solar: 70 percent
- Natural Gas: 50 percent
- Wind: 50 percent
- Hydro: 27 percent
- Geo-Thermal: 10 percent
So, not only are we seeing growth in density, we’re also seeing more creativity in how the modern data center is supported. Organizations are thinking outside the box when it comes to proper data center and infrastructure management. With that in mind, they are also investing in better DCIM software tools. When it comes to implementation plans and current deployments, the survey found that DCIM is a critical factor when it relates to data center management. The top five currently implemented DCIM software functions include:
- Environmental (temperature and humidity): 63 percent
- Facility management: 50 percent
- Power/energy management: 50 percent
- Security: 49 percent
- Cable management: 47 percent
With so much increased focus around the data center, it’s clear that redundant systems and good management strategies will continue to be big planning and consideration points. Be sure to download the entire report to learn about the big industry trends, where data center management focus is shifting, and how new requirements will impacts your business.