How to Respond to the Data Center Space Shortage
The data center space shortage is real-and escalating. In this article, London-based Allan Mertner, vice president of product delivery & IT at Tideway Systems examines how companies can respond and what this means for IT departments.As one of Europe's most active financial centers, London has been in the news lately due to the shrinking data center real estate available to support countless large financial institutions. Experts now estimate that the vacancy rate in London's co-location facilities will approach zero percent by 2009. And London is not alone. Tier 1 Research reports that in 2006, global data center demand rose nearly 13 percent while facility supply rose only four percent. At the same time, power and cooling costs are sharply increasing, with IDC reporting that global spending on data center power and cooling in 2007 was roughly equivalent to spending on servers. Gartner predicts that half of the world's data centers will face an acute power shortage by the end of 2008. The rapid dwindling of data center space and resources has far-reaching implications for all major metropolitan areas and centers of business, and corporations are facing pressure to address this issue before it becomes an emergency.
Many companies have responded to the data center space shortage by relocating their data center facilities to more remote (and often more affordable) locations. However, many real-time applications can tolerate a maximum of around 40 miles between a data center and the business unit it supports before server lag starts significantly degrading performance, which can directly affect a company's profitability. As a rule of thumb, adding 60 miles of distance adds a minimum of 1 millisecond to the time it takes for a single request to be turned around. The additional delay quickly adds up to a large perceived application lag because so many applications require a large number of request/response cycles to fulfill a single user action.