We launched a new web site this month.
The new content reflects the new capabilities of our DCIM Software, GFS Crane. We have extended monitoring to every critical infrastructure device supporting a data center, including DG sets. We have added multi-tenancy and we have added features to support Managed DCIM Service that may be offered by Managed Services providers.
While the history of DCIM is intimately linked to Energy Efficiency, more and more customers today are deploying DCIM software for Asset Management, Capacity Planning and Business Continuity. During the last six months, our engineers worked closely with customers and partners to enhance capabilities in all these areas. We have significantly reduced manual efforts in creating asset database. GFS Crane Capacity Planning now adopts constraint-based approach to provide realistic and implementable results. A new module of Advanced Alarm Management with a dashboard provides analytics that can help I&O staff to predict and prevent failures.
The global economic outlook looks promising. Awareness about DCIM value has increased with the changing topology of data centers with cloud and highly virtualized infrastructures. We therefore have reason to be very optimistic.
As we start a new fiscal this month, I must thank our customers and partners for their incredible support to get us to this stage.
There’s a pioneering effort going on in building sustainable data centers. Call them the New Generation Data Centers. Here are a few examples:
Modular Data Center (MDC): portable, flexible and containerized (integrated with all components) to meet scalability requirements of ever growing computing demands. It’s the answer to rapid expansion of a Data Center. Amazon and Google were the early adopters of a MDC.
Combined Heating, Cooling & Power (CHCP): Having a captive CHCP facility that produce both power and thermal energy, can improve PUE significantly. CHCP dramatically improves both energy efficiency and reliability. Princeton University has a CHCP plant for its main campus and High Performance Computing Research Center.
Wind-powered Data Centers: A $70 million data center project is coming up outside Austin, Texas completely powered by wind energy.
Geo-thermal powered Data Center: A new Data Center is coming up in Iceland powered by geo-thermal and will be the world’s first zero-carbon Data Center.
There’s clearly a quiet revolution happening in the world of Data Centers in their quest for driving massive energy efficiencies. We are glad we chose Data Centers as the first sector in our journey of pioneering Sustainable solutions for tomorrow.
Virtualization was one of those pioneering efforts that changed the dynamics of computing and introduced significant operational and energy efficiency. There is however a misconception that Data Center energy efficiency measures stop with Virtualization.
From server and storage point of view, there are two others that can contribute to significant savings:
- Retirement of legacy servers
- Optimization between production and test & development systems
Servers hosting legacy applications that are no longer being used should be decommissioned as they neither offer any business value nor contribute to uptime. If the only reasons they are being kept are for audit or compliance requirements of historical data, Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) strategies should be deployed.
Just as we observe that nearly 55% power consumption are from non-computing that adversely impacts PUE, our experience working with Data Centers show that as much as 70% power consumption are from test & development servers and storage. There are a few reasons for this:
- Older servers reaching end-of-life are allocated for non-production usage. However, they are energy inefficient and should be replaced with newer, more energy efficient equipment. The TCO will definitely be lower, as in all likelihood their AMC will also be lower.
- Full sized production databases are cloned for test & development purpose when only a subset can suffice. Worse, equal number back-ups are taken even of the clones as they are taken of production databases!
Going beyond Virtualization, significant power reductions can be achieved through better operating procedures for test & development, retiring legacy servers and replacing older equipment and of course, cooling.