Cooling, power issues dominate gathering of data center professionals

Power consumption and cooling of mission-critical information-technology (IT) facilities remain key concerns, according to professionals who attended the recent DatacenterDynamics New York (www.

Power consumption and cooling of mission-critical information-technology (IT) facilities remain key concerns, according to professionals who attended the recent DatacenterDynamics New York (www.datacentredynamics.com). The event, which provides a knowledge exchange for professionals involved in the design, construction, and management of data centers, saw delegates discuss a variety of core concerns, including managing data center efficiency to counter increasing electricity costs, the relevance of data center classification systems, and the roles of facilities and IT.

The event inaugurated this year’s series of 12 educational and networking conferences that are taking place throughout the world. Organizers said the 481 attendees was a new record for the event.

“The data center industry may be booming, but there is a fundamental need to address power, cooling, and knowledge issues,” says George Rockett, conference director for DatacenterDynamics (see related story, page 55). “Increasing power densities, whether they are from networked storage, communications equipment, and more commonly from servers, are all contributing.”

Rockett contines, “The move toward blade servers, for example, has enabled dramatic increases in server density and performance with improved flexibility, reliability, and reduced costs; however, the associated power and cooling requirements are necessitating a redesign of existing data centers as well as a rethink of the way that new data centers and LAN environments are deployed. Although the introduction of multi-core processors is touted as one solution, they are a short-term answer to what is a long-term problem.”

Delegates discussed the design, architecture, and implementation methods for dealing with blade-server cooling, and options and practical solutions for new, retrofit, and existing environments.

“Another key issue facing large organizations is whether ownership of the data center should reside with facility or IT management,” Rockett adds. “There exists a lack of understanding between these two disciplines, which is undoubtedly leading to problems. IT wants to run more applications and demands greater scalability, and this requires better hardware. But adding more hardware presents engineering problems, and IT needs to recognize this. Similarly, the guy providing services into the data center needs to understand that as the value of data has grown, the high cost of downtime and the penalties served by regulatory bodies have brought facilities sharply into focus for corporate executives.”

-Patrick McLaughlin

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