IT researcher identifies cloud computing, smarter physical designs, power saving, and Big Data workloads as biggest factors in new data center builds.
Many IT industry people believe that the incorporation of cloud
computing services and systems is the single most impactful trend in
data center construction and management, and all the indicators
certainly point in that direction.
In sanctioning this, market researcher Gartner is venturing further,
declaring that there are no fewer than four important forces now
directly influencing the building and/or refurbishing of data centers
as many enterprises begin to move into a new phase of IT.
Gartner said in a report published March 15 that primary factors
impacting data centers "in a significant way" during the next five
years include not only the potential of cloud computing systems but
smarter physical designs, emphasis on power saving and other
environmental factors, and the realities of impending Big Data
workloads on IT systems.
Implicit in that list is the continuing trend toward convergence in
data center hardware, in which more functionality is contained in
smaller containers. Server, storage, and networking functionality now
can be obtained in a single appliance, for example, from several
"In the world of IT, everything has cascading effects, and in data
centers the traditional methods of design no longer work without
understanding the outside forces that will have an impact on data
center costs, size and longevity," Gartner Managing Vice President and
Chief of Research for Infrastructure David Cappuccio said.
"However, these very forces can actually work in your favor, providing
the means to apply innovative designs, reduce capital costs and
operating costs, increase long term scale, and keep up with the
Key IT systems makers and integrators are keenly aware of this.
Industry leaders that include Hewlett-Packard, IBM, EMC, Cisco Systems,
Oracle, Accenture -- yes, even Microsoft, which is working on its own
project of this nature -- have invested a great deal during the last
few years in their own data center-design services.
New Report Offers Details
To this end, Cappuccio has published a new report
on this topic, entitled "Shrinking Data Centers: Your Next Data Center
Will Be Smaller Than You Think." In the report, Cappuccio points out
key differentiators between traditional data center design of the
mainframe era and new-gen data centers.
"Today's data centers have many different demands on
mechanical/electrical systems, depending on workload mix, function and
age of equipment," Cappuccio said. "New designs have taken this into
account by adding different density zones for different workload types."
Most older data centers are woefully under-utilized from a space perspective, Cappuccio said.
"The physical floor space may be nearing capacity, but in many cases,
the actual compute space within racks and servers is very poorly used,
with average rack densities approaching just 60 percent worldwide,"
"Newer designs focus on this issue and are developed to allow optimal
rack density, often approaching 85 to 90 percent, on average, thus
increasing the compute-per-square-foot ratio dramatically," Cappuccio
"The advent of private cloud environments and resource pooling will
provide methods to enhance vertical scalability in the data center,
while at the same time improving the productivity-per-kilowatt ratio."