A high-density data center is a facility in which equipment consumes large amounts of energy. Definitions differ, but a data center is typically considered high-density if it’s server racks consume more than 10 kW or if the facility consumes 150 Watts per square foot.
Key Drivers of High-Density Data Center Deployments
- Increased demand. Today’s customers and devices demand where, anytime access to applications, services, and data. Innovations such as edge computing, big data, the Internet of Things, and cloud and streaming services require significant data center resources.
- Increased space utilization. As organizations seek to increase data center efficiency, operators are intelligently increasing rack densities and getting more out of their existing space capacity.
- Data center consolidation and virtualization. Data center consolidation and virtualization reduce the number of necessary cabinets, devices, and cables, but often results in higher power utilization of the remaining devices.
- Goals to reduce operating costs. As data center density increases, energy and operating costs typically decrease. As such, data center managers aim to deploy more compute power in existing cabinets to save money.
Common High-Density Data Center Management Challenges
- Identifying and eliminating hot spots. High-density cabinets consume a lot of power, and every kW of power that is consumed requires an equivalent amount of cooling. Otherwise, you risk creating hot spots that can damage equipment and cause downtime.
- Monitoring power utilization and capacity. If compute devices draw too much power, you may approach thresholds that will trip a breaker and cause you to lose power on either side of your power chain, losing redundancy or causing downtime.
- Planning power capacity and knowing where to deploy new equipment. You may not always know the best place to deploy new equipment. Traditional methods of power capacity planning that involves derating the nameplate value by around 60% often creates stranded capacity, blocking you from the high-density deployment you need to meet demand.
- Knowing the health and capacity of all your cabinets. It’s critical to know of any conditions that might cause downtime, but having easy and instant access to this is not always so simple with the right tool.
- Accurately documenting the network. High-density data centers can include hundreds or thousands of interconnected devices. Network documentation can be a serious challenge, and if not done properly, can result in the inability to plan capacity, perform failover analysis, manage virtual and physical connections, and respond to outages.
- Understanding weight capacity of each cabinet. Since you may have double or triple the traditional number of services in each cabinet, they will be much heavier. If your raised floor cannot handle the additional weight, you risk a potential disaster.
Simplify High-Density Data Center Management with DCIM Software
Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software dramatically simplifies high-density data center management and enables you to intelligently increase your density without risking downtime.
With DCIM, you can easily identify and remediate hot spots, set thresholds and alerts on power and environment to know before you have a serious problem, automate power capacity planning to eliminate stranded capacity, get at-a-glance views of the health and capacity of all your sites, visually document all cabling infrastructure, and visualize the weight and weight capacity of each cabinet on your data center floor plan in 3D.
Want to see how Sunbird’s world-leading DCIM software makes it easy for you to manage a high-density data center? Get your free test drive now!