Power and Cooling Continuity
In today’s world of high-density data center equipment, power and cooling needs are a supply and demand problem. Administrators must then understand the supply limitations of the data center and the demand of the equipment. The cost of data centers is on the rise as a result of the increased power capacity required. While server costs have remained virtually consistent, power density has been increasing at an alarming rate. By next year, it is expected that the cost of power for the data center will exceed the cost of the original capital investment. It’s imperative for CFOs to understand the cost of energy relative to the cost of the server because the need for more data centers is increasing due to the demand for more business applications.
Powering and cooling your own data center is not only of budgetary concern, there is risk in the continuity of the physical environment itself. It is recommended that the temperature ranges 61-75*F (16-24*C) with a humidity of 40-55%. The temperature is constantly on the rise because the electrical power used heats the air. Unless that heat is removed, the ambient temperature will rise, resulting in equipment malfunction. Too much humidity will cause water to condense on internal parts and not enough humidity can produce static electricity discharge problems which will damage components.
When housing your own center, it is critical that all elements of the electrical system, including backups, should be fully duplicated and critical servers connected to both the ‘A’ and ‘B’ power feeds. Your backup power should consist of one or more uninterruptible power supplies, battery banks, or diesel generators. Static switches are sometimes used to ensure instantaneous switchover in the event of a power failure. Power is the critical element in a data center because its performance affects the proper execution of every other system in the facility.
If you choose to house your IT operations in data centers, computer rooms, NOC’s, or server farms, be diligent in your research of power and cooling systems because they need to be carefully coordinated. Your equipment and data need 24 hours of protection 7 days a week.
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