Data centers are vital to the effective production of applications and networks, but their design is inherently different than that of the office. According to a recent Data Center Knowledge article, data centers are designed specifically for servers and not people. As a result, IT staff must often trade comfy office chairs, desks and air conditioning for hot aisles, mobile workstations and biometric security just to move around.
This machine-first approach has resulted in 100 degree rooms and structurally interesting configurations that rely on data center power to operate. The problem with this way of thinking and design is that power consumption is substantial. As data center operators and organizations are moving toward green technologies and sustainability, the old way of thinking is being set aside for comfortable environments designed to be energy efficient.
For Vantage Data Centers, for example, the organization has a new 60,000 square-foot facility in Santa Clara and roughly 20 percent of its space is dedicated to offices and customer amenities. The company also houses two 20,000 square foot data halls that are separate from the customer area so that customers can enjoy an office setting and a quiet place to work. In taking this approach, Vantage Data Centers is reducing its reliance on data center power.
A more comfortable environment is also being driven by i/o Data Centers and its nearly 80,000 square feet of office space. In addition to its data centers, the company also offers meeting rooms and several amphitheaters. SuperNAP in Las Vegas offers a number of visual flourishes that tend to be found in enterprise office space, including a plush theater that can be used for customer events.
This people-first approach reflects the dual nature of these facilities, many of which also function as corporate headquarters. There is also a broadening demand for custom data center space. Some industry accounts suggest that 80 percent of the data center space in the U.S. is housed on corporate campuses instead of in dedicated third-party facilities.
The increased flow of people through data center space, as well as enlarging data center capacity has renewed the focus on data center power throughout the United States. In addition, companies also have to increase the security systems in place to protect the data center and the information that it contains.
The additional volume of people in the facility also requires additional data center power, putting more strain on resources. As data centers continue to change their approach to their operation, data center power needs to be a primary focus to keep resources in check.
In other data center power news, Server Technology (News - Alert), which designs and manufactures products to reduce downtime and improve data center power management, has been addressing some issues surrounding data centers.
For those IT managers wishing they had the ability to manage all the power in their global network from one location and interface, Server Technology has the solution, as it offers the Sentry Power Manager – a solution that helps managers address data center power related challenges by measuring, monitoring and trending power at the server cabinet level.Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Carrie Schmelkin