Tuesday, May 25, 2010

PTS Education & White Papers

Looking to continue its tradition of providing content-rich educational materials for data center managers through its website, PTS has significantly upgraded its white paper section. As we continue to add our own industry-specific content through white paper development, presentations at numerous industry events, discussion threads on the PTS blog and through the LinkedIn Computer Room Design group, we strive to stay up-to-date on the latest facility- and IT-related trends.

To that end we have revamped our media library (registration required). Now you can find relevant educational papers by facility, IT or specific topics including: Consolidation, Cooling, Financial, General, Management, Network, Power, Safety, Security, Servers, Storage, and Virtualization. Interesting white papers to add to your reading list include:

Proper Sizing of IT Power & Cooling (by Green Grid). Between 2000 and 2006, energy requirements for data centers doubled, and they are on track to double again by 2011. In the same time period, typical per-rack heat densities went from 1 kW to 7 kW, and they are estimated to exceed 20 kW per rack by 2010. This places tremendous importance on a data center facility planner's ability to properly budget for future power and cooling infrastructure requirements. Today's energy costs and efficiency demands necessitate a more accurate method of determining those requirements. This white paper has been developed to introduce the reader to the many new and highly accurate software tools available for estimating power and cooling capacity requirements. Click here for the full white paper.

Server Consolidation and Containment With Virtual Infrastructure (by VMware). To meet the constant demand to deploy, maintain and grow a broad array of services and applications, , IT organizations must continually add new servers. However, as a consequence of purchasing more and more servers, organizations face a growing server sprawl presenting challenges that include: rising costs, poor return on investment, decreasing manageability, and reduced efficiency. Click here for the full white paper.

Increasing Data Center Efficiency with Server Power Measurements (by Intel). Intel IT defined methods for analyzing computing energy efficiency within our design computing environment, using measurements of actual server power consumption and utilization. We used these methods to identify trends and opportunities for improving data center efficiency, and to implement a pilot project that increased data center computing capacity. Click here for the full white paper.

Optimizing Power Distribution for High-Density Computing (by Eaton). Fueled by the rapid rise of technologies such as virtualization and blade servers, computing densities in today's data centers are climbing dramatically. As a result, server enclosures are requiring more power than ever before. The result of this is a new and demanding set of power distribution challenges. To meet the power requirements of their increasingly dense server racks, organizations are looking for power circuits and power distribution units (PDUs) that have adequate power capacity and make optimal use of panelboards, but don't drive such high densities that they are prohibitively expensive to cool. Click here for the full white paper.

Is Your IT Infrastructure Ready for Tomorrow? Preparing for a 10GbE Future (by David Reine, The Clipper Group). An IT infrastructure will be the key to the success of the enterprise data center in the years to come. Because of the poor utilization of existing single-core microprocessor servers, the IT staff of the typical data center has embarked on a journey of consolidation and virtualization to reduce server sprawl, simplify data center complexity, and reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the IT infrastructure. Click here for the full white paper.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Achieving a Dim Data Center

In my post, “Dark Data Centers: Dream or Reality?”, I discussed how dim data centers remain a sought-after solution for IT professionals and users, and an attainable design goal for most companies.

One of our readers requested examples of solutions which can help to achieve a dim data center. As such, here are some key things to consider:

1. Move supporting infrastructure (power and cooling) out of the computer room space. Doing so reduces the likelihood that people will need to have access to the most critical space and can accomplish their tasks (replace batteries on UPS, perform thermographic scanning, replace AC filters, etc.) outside of the critical environment.

2. Utilize appropriate remote IP and serial access tools to control servers and network devices, including virtual disk interface technologies such that media can be installed remotely.

3. Install remote monitoring hardware and software to provide remote ‘snapshots’ as well as trending of the power and environmental performance of the space.