No Compromise: Four Trends Shaping the Next Decade of Data Center Design and Operation

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Today’s data center managers are struggling to balance organizational pressure to deliver both efficiency and availability. Looking ahead to the next 10 years, organizations that maximize the value of their technology infrastructure will be successful in driving costs out of data center design, management and operation through improved efficiency while continuing to deliver high availability. In a new white paper released today, Emerson Network Power reviews four distinct opportunities within the data center infrastructure that will drive this transformation.

"As we look ahead to the next decade, data center design and management must enter a new stage of maturity where organizations can reduce costs and improve efficiency without potentially risking performance."

Today’s data center managers are struggling to balance organizational pressure to deliver both efficiency and availability. Looking ahead to the next 10 years, organizations that maximize the value of their technology infrastructure will be successful in driving costs out of data center design, management and operation through improved efficiency while continuing to deliver high availability. In a new white paper released today, Emerson Network Power reviews four distinct opportunities within the data center infrastructure that will drive this transformation.

Efficiency Without Compromise: Four Trends Driving the Future of Data Center Infrastructure Design and Management

1.    Density Equals Efficiency.
Industry estimates put the average cost to build a data center shell at $200-400 per square-foot. By building a data center with 2,500 square feet of raised floor space operating at 20kW per rack versus a data center with 10,000 square feet of raised floor space at 5 kW per rack, the capital savings could reach $1 - $3 million. Operational savings also are impressive – about 35 percent of the cost of cooling the data center is eliminated by the high-density cooling infrastructure. Data center professionals are discovering the efficiency gains enabled by high-density environments. Sixty-three percent of the respondents to the fall 2009 Data Center Users’ Group (DCUG) survey indicated they plan to make their next data center new build or expansion a high-density (>10kW/rack) facility. The white paper outlines proven approaches to power and cooling in high-density IT spaces.

2.    Availability Makes a Comeback.
In the wake of a number of high-profile data center outages, the importance of availability is taking hold once again. The fall 2009 DCUG survey reports that availability has vaulted back to the top of the key issues list – now a major concern for 56 percent of respondents versus just 41 percent in the spring 2009 DCUG survey. Understanding that a large percentage of outages are triggered either by electrical or thermal issues, the challenge is optimizing the efficiency gains related to power and cooling approaches while understanding IT criticality and the need for availability. The white paper examines some of the choices to be made and the impact of trade-offs between efficiency and availability.

3.    Change Remains a Constant.
IT demand can fluctuate depending on everything from short-term holiday buying seasons or volatile stock transactions to strategic organizational changes and new applications. Responding to those swings without compromising efficiency requires infrastructure technologies capable of dynamically adapting to short-term changes while providing the scalability to support long-term changes. These technologies are highlighted in the white paper.

4.    Visibility and Control Enable Optimization.
If you can’t monitor and control infrastructure performance, you can’t improve it. Management systems that provide a holistic view of the entire data center are key to ensuring availability, improving efficiency, planning for the future and managing change. The white paper looks at how decision-making and performance can be improved by managing the data center infrastructure from this holistic perspective.

Quotes attributable to Chuck Spears, president, Liebert products (North America), Emerson Network Power:
–    "High availability is no longer considered an insurance policy. One significant outage can wipe out years of savings achieved through incremental efficiency improvements. High availability mitigates risk and delivers positive operational ROI."
–    "As we look ahead to the next decade, data center design and management must enter a new stage of maturity where organizations can reduce costs and improve efficiency without potentially risking performance."
–    "In a data center environment, efficiency has become connected to energy. But in reality, energy is just one of the resources consumed by a data center as it supports the business. And energy efficiency, while important, is just one chapter in the larger data center lifecycle efficiency story."
–    "Businesses can optimize data center efficiency by considering all of the data center’s resources. Those resources include physical space, capital equipment dollars, design and management time, service costs and, yes, energy. When a data center takes advantages of all of these opportunities, the cost reductions are much greater than could be achieved by a focus on energy alone."

Related Links:
White Paper: The Four Trends Driving the Future of Data Center Infrastructure Design and Management
Efficiency Without Compromise Home Page
Video: Bay Area Internet Solutions Case Study

About Emerson Network Power
Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson (NYSE:EMR), is the global leader in enabling Business- Critical Continuity™ from grid to chip for telecommunication networks, data centers, health care and industrial facilities. Emerson Network Power provides innovative solutions and expertise in areas including AC and DC power and precision cooling systems, embedded computing and power, integrated racks and enclosures, power switching and controls, monitoring, and connectivity. All solutions are supported globally by local Emerson Network Power service technicians. Liebert AC power, precision cooling and monitoring products and services from Emerson Network Power deliver Efficiency Without CompromiseTM by helping customers optimize their data center infrastructure to reduce costs and deliver high availability. For more information, visit http://www.liebert.com, http://www.emersonnetworkpower.com or http://www.eu.emersonnetworkpower.com.

About Emerson
Emerson (NYSE:EMR), based in St. Louis, Missouri (USA), is a global leader in bringing technology and engineering together to provide innovative solutions to customers through its network power, process management, industrial automation, climate technologies, and appliance and tools businesses. Emerson’s sales in fiscal 2009 were $20.9 billion. The company is ranked 94th on the Fortune 500 list of America’s largest companies. For more information, visit http://www.Emerson.com.

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