Integration: The future of data centers

At the NEBB Annual Conference, two data center experts pointed to integration as the key to success in data center design and commissioning.


John Peterson is a lead technical manager with HP. Courtesy: Consulting-Specifying EngineerHewlett Packard's John Peterson and Commtech Asia's Raja Natarajan presented at the 2014 NEBB Annual Conference about the key to data center success.

They both pointed to one thing as the future of data centers: integration. This includes integration of and by the designers, engineers, facility managers, and IT team. In addition, they indicated that commissioning of these data centers-from their inception-was important to ensure success on many levels, such as power usage effectiveness (PUE) and energy efficiency.

The speakers conducted a short question and answer session:

Q: How do engineers design for the initial small data center that will eventually grow? Equipment is designed too large, and not used at maximum load for a couple of years.

A: Modularity can be the answer. (Editor's note: Watch this webcast about "Modular data center design" for more on the topic.)

Q: How do we get the cooling closer to the IT equipment?

A: There are lots of changes, and many companies and working to improve the products and options. Stay tuned for more as the industry improves and increases its product offerings. (Editor's note: Watch this webcast about "HVAC for data centers" for more on the topic.)

Q: How much redundancy is normal?

A: Refer to the Uptime Institute for information about data center tiers. Tier III and IV are the highest level, and serve mission critical facilities. Tier II and III are the most cost-efficient, and the most common. Also see the IEEE Gold Book for references.

Q: Is there free cooling in northern climates?

A: Yes, and carefully consider humidity. Higher-temperature data centers work well in northern climates. However, you must also consider power costs, taxes, and other costs. Locations vary in their tax incentives and costs of doing business.

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