A Data Center is a fundamental component with the power to handle applications, information, and critical business resources. As a result, several aspects must be considered when selecting a Data Center facility, such as location, security, and support. However, when evaluating Data Centers, one of the most important and sometimes overlooked aspects is power.
This article will assist you in developing a better knowledge of Data Centers and their importance to your business. In fact, we will walk you through the essential components your business requires and provide you with every available choice to increase the power of your Data Center.
Data Center 101
What is a Data Center?
A data center is a facility that gathers common IT operations and equipment to store, process, and distribute data and applications. In fact, Data Centers are crucial to day-to-day operations since they store key assets. As a result, data center power, security, and reliability are among the top objectives of every firm.
Thanks to the public cloud, data centers have witnessed a revolutionary transformation. In other words, we came to realize that Data Centers do not have to be heavily controlled physical infrastructures.
As we try to create simple and highly effective tools, most modern Data Centers have moved from on-premises servers to virtualized infrastructure that supports applications and workloads across multi-cloud environments.
Data centers are essential as they offer services such as:
- Storage, management, backup, and recovery of data.
- Email and other productivity applications.
- E-commerce transactions in high volume
- Assistance to online gaming communities.
- Big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence are all buzzwords these days.
There are more than 7 million data centers worldwide. Almost every company and government creates and maintains its own data center or has access to someone else’s, if not both. There are several choices available today, including
- Renting servers from a colocation facility
- Employing data center services operated by a third party,
- Using public cloud-based services from hosts such as Amazon, Microsoft, Sony, and Google.
Key Components and Infrastructure:
To establish a reliable Data Center you must realize that design, needs, and power will all vary. Therefore, there is no one recipe to follow; you need to study your infrastructure and capacity to find suitable solutions.
For example, a data center designed for a cloud service provider must fulfill facility, infrastructure, and security criteria that are vastly different from a private data center, such as one built for a government facility.
Therefore, a balanced investment in infrastructure is required. Data Centers store vital information and applications. As a result, it is critical to protect your infrastructure with dependable components against intruders and cyberattacks.
The following are the main components of a data center:
- A Facility: A Data center is among of the world’s most power institutions, as they provide 24-hour access to information. Therefore, the used space for IT equipment must be designed to keep equipment within precise temperature/humidity ranges.
- Core Components: Equipment and software for IT operations, as well as data and application storage, are key components. Storage systems, servers, network infrastructure, such as switches and routers, and other information security aspects, are examples of these.
- Support Infrastructure: Data Center equipment that ensures the best availability in a secure manner is a power tool. The Uptime Institute has classified data centers into four levels, with availability ranging from 99.671 percent to 99.995 percent.
- Operations staff: Choosing your team is as important as getting the best infrastructure. Therefore, your staff must be available 24/7 to manage operations and IT infrastructure.
Data Center Power Distribution:
Customers must have a notion of how much power they will require with a data center. The amount of electricity installed and the number of power distribution units (PDUs) required are determined by the number of Amps used by the servers.
The power requirements of each rack deployment will vary depending on the servers included within it. Efficiency is a major factor in this case, and any changes in the setup might affect how the data center delivers power to the rack.
Installing more powerful servers raises the power density of the rack, forcing more watts going through the unit and larger circuits to manage the extra power. Higher density deployments need additional cooling, which must be incorporated into total costs.
Customers must manage their data center power to ensure that their equipment is deployed effectively according to their power requirements. Inefficient data center power distribution can result in wasted power and space, boosting current expenses while potentially limiting future development.
Green Power and Sustainability
Green data centers have made major attempts to diversify their energy sources and include sustainable resources. In fact, to meet their green demands, some facilities use :
- Direct renewable power, such as harnessing ambient air to generate solar or geothermal power.
- Market solutions such as Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) and Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs)
Data Center power management can help you decide the best methods to fulfill this commitment. In other words, companies should be mindful of their own data center power needs so that they do not over-or under-provision their colocated IT systems.
Power Requirements: What Questions Should You Ask?
There are several elements to consider when a firm decides on relocating its IT infrastructure to a colocation data center. Connectivity and security are at the top of the list, but considering their influence on cost, power needs are not far behind. The following questions will help you calculate your power requirements.
Do you know the amount of rack space required?
You must identify how much space the computers will take up in a Data Center rack. A rack unit (U or RU) is a defined measurement that equals 1 ¾ inch or 3.4 cm. Most cabinet modules, like as servers, are 1U to 4U height and 19 inches wide. A standard full-sized cabinet is a 42U high, or little more than 6 feet high.
All of it relies on the server size and type when determining how much server rack shelf space you will need. Standard servers can range from 1U to 4U in size, while blade server containers require extra room to fit the vertical blades. However, because more blades may be mounted vertically, they can offer significant space savings in relation to the amount of computing power they provide.
Determining the total amount of rack space required, then, is as easy as counting the number of rack units occupied by the colocated equipment. Of course, calculating space is only one component of the equation. The power needs of the equipment may vary a lot depending on the type of servers utilized.
How Much Power Do You Need?
The level of power used by assets is measured in kilowatts (kW) and maybe figured in many ways. In fact, identifying data center power requirements is as simple as looking at the servers’ nameplates and adding the total watts necessary to the total amount of the required gear power. If the wattage is not specified, it can be calculated by multiplying the operating voltage by the current (amperes):
Watts = Voltage x Amperes (W = V x A)
Simply dividing the total watts by 1,000 to convert wattage to kilowatts. Multiply kW by the number of hours to get an approximation of how much electricity this colocated equipment will require over a normal billing cycle (so 720 hours for 30 days). This will give you a general estimate of how many kilowatt-hours you’ve used, which you can then compare to local electricity pricing.
The power requirements, as previously stated, will influence the sort of PDUs required for the cabinet. Therefore, managing the additional power in a greater density deployment requires stronger data center power distribution.
What Will Your Power Requirements Be in the Future?
Knowing your current power needs can be difficult, but it is also necessary to evaluate how those needs may alter in the future. If you are aiming to grow considerably over a year, it may make sense to prepare your power requirements for those future demands to guarantee that any data center can handle expansion.
Data centers can be adaptable; however, space is sometimes at a premium, and failing to prepare for expansion may result in wasted opportunities.
Moving to a local data center offers up a world of options. However, businesses should always calculate power requirements before making the move. They may better optimize their deployment and boost flexibility by precisely analyzing their data center power needs.
With technology, change is unavoidable, and data centers should be built with this clear principle. Therefore, companies that still use outdated technology and infrastructure fail.
Data Center Power management is critical in building more dynamic data centers that can swiftly change to meet future needs and problems.