Data centers are becoming an increasingly important part of business infrastructure. It is an element of the utmost importance that everything works as it should, without interruptions or even unexpected events that could mean data loss.
We asked Branko Jovanović, an expert from ADVANT doo, who will be one of the key guests at the 8 day DATA CENTER conference, who needs a data center, what are the advantages and disadvantages and why cooling is important to run the data center .2022, in Gospodarsko razstavišče, Ljubljana.
Who needs a data center?
Data centers are places where users install key information system equipment, servers, communication equipment and – most importantly – their data. Therefore, it is one of the most important elements of the business of the vast majority of companies and organizations. Therefore, due to the reliability of the business, many users own one or more backup data centers in addition to the main one. It is definitely not necessary to have our own data center. Many users – at least when it comes to data center backup equipment – choose to install it from specialist providers for these services.
What are the benefits of a data center?
Some of the advantages and disadvantages of data centers vary depending on whether we are building our own data center or otherwise renting it from the provider of these services. But there are also common advantages. In any case, the data center allows us to integrate all the vital ICT infrastructure into a secure space, where we virtually protect the equipment from various environmental influences. We also guarantee that the device is resistant to blackouts and operates in optimal climatic conditions, which has a positive effect on its service life.
What is the price, operating and maintenance costs? Of course, it depends on the size and type of other factors. Can the line still be drawn under cost?
When estimating total cost of ownership (TCO), we need to consider three main components: the cost of purchasing hardware and software, the operating and maintenance costs I mentioned in the question, and the cost of staffing the data center. In the past year, there have been frequent increases in equipment prices. Energy sources are also becoming more expensive. This is followed by labor costs with a slight delay. Therefore, it is very dangerous to give any estimates. Various figures can be found in the literature, but due to all the factors mentioned, the reliability of these data is questionable and depends on many factors. If we focus only on the data center provisioning infrastructure, that is, excluding ICT equipment, I found years ago an estimate that the total cost of ownership for a data center could be between $100,000 and $250,000 per rack cabinet over its entire life. Similarly, estimates can be found that the total cost of ownership for smaller data centers ranges between $1,400 and $1,800 per rack/month. Operating costs can be 40% to 60% of the total value of the property, it can be more, it can be less – depending on many factors, the size of the position, the degree of modularity, energy efficiency and the like.
Let’s touch on cooling. Why is cooling an important part of a data center?
cooling systems or. Instead, heat dissipation systems from data centers are one of the main parts of the infrastructure supply. Proper operation of this system provides for information and communication technology equipment and other elements of the supply infrastructure, ideal climatic conditions for operation. In this way, the heat dissipation enables us to achieve the maximum life of the equipment in which we have invested a lot of resources. In the off state, the temperature very quickly rises above the acceptable level, which leads to the automatic shutdown of individual equipment or the entire data center, that is, the failure of IT services. There may also be failures due to overheating and loss of our valuable data.
What are the challenges in planning cooling?
Reliability always comes first when designing any data center infrastructure system. We can draw on examples of good practice and recommendations, such as Uptime Institute Inc’s TIER rating. However, cooling systems are by far the largest consumers of energy among the data center supply infrastructure. With careful planning and the use of the latest technology, we can significantly reduce energy consumption and therefore total cost of ownership over the entire lifespan.
So planning is a big challenge…
Planning is an art and each designer has their own style and ideas, but there are certainly current challenges and opportunities that each of us must consider:
• Analysis of high temperatures in the data center as an effective way to reduce energy consumption and carbon footprint,
• Readiness for direct water cooling of the equipment,
• New regulations in the field of low-GWP refrigerants,
• Using modern tools for refrigeration simulation and CFD analysis, which gives us insight into the future operation of the refrigeration system,
• Expected environmental certification and penalties for owners of data centers with low energy efficiency.
Branko Jovanovic will be one of the key guests at the DATA CENTER conference with the lecture “Challenges in Cooling Planning in Modern Data Centers”.
The program of the 9th Data Center Conference, to be held at the Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Center on June 8, 2022, can be checked >>> here
Register to attend the conference via LINK.