Investing in Future-Proof Infrastructure

June 20, 2020 As technology continues to evolve, so too does the infrastructure that supports it. Jon Barker, Technical Manager, Chatsworth Products (CPI), talks us through the new demands on modern data centres and explains how CPI solutions are helping organisations to meet these requirements.

How and why has the demand on data centres changed?

In the past, the core principle of a data centre was to store, process and share data centrally. More recently however, there has been a shift towards a more flexible and decentralised approach to data centre solutions as organisations aim to support their business operations more cost effectively.

The demand on data centres continues to change as shared space becomes the new normal and more organisations adopt cloud services as part of their IT operational strategy. Data centres play an integral role in the migration towards hybrid environments as multi-cloud solutions continue to grow year-on-year.

With it, the services provided by data centres need to be flexible and adaptable. The sheer growth in data collected is also driving huge capacity requirements and this will only increase as the development and adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) continues through many market sectors.

What is the impact of this change on infrastructure management?

The complexity of hybrid and multicloud environments presents many challenges in securing and managing the resulting infrastructures. In many cases, this complexity can no longer be managed by existing manual processes but instead will be addressed with the adoption of automated management tools, with emerging AI-driven cloud service technologies also becoming more prevalent.

Why do organisations need to ensure their data centre can support emerging technologies and how do you support them with this?

An increasing number of organisations no longer own their own data centres or at least a part of the data centre resource they utilise is a third-party owned multitenant data centre (MTDC). Therefore, ensuring that they have access to the facilities and services that can support the emerging needs of their business is an important consideration.

Chatsworth Products (CPI) designs and manufactures infrastructure solutions that protect and power the technology investment of our customers and the service providers who support them.

Whether in a traditional on-premise data centre or in an Edge Compute environment, CPI provides products that can be rapidly deployed and easily adapted to secure and power IT equipment. CPI products also support efficient airflow management solutions that help to reduce costs associated with cooling IT equipment.

How does an integrated solution help simplify white space management?

An integrated hardware solution ensures compatibility between products and can significantly reduce the cost of deployment. Arguably, the most effective integrated solution for white space management is a cabinet-contained hot aisle, where a Vertical Exhaust Duct (VED) allows the hot exhaust air to return through a ceiling plenum to the CRAC unit.

A cabinet-contained solution, particularly in an environment where complete aisles will not be built out on day one offers a cost effective and flexible solution that negates the need for additional containment, be it roof, wall or door systems.

Additionally, a cabinet-contained solution offers the potential to cool up to 30kW of IT load passively, which well exceeds most standard compute and storage applications.

Are there any key regional trends you are seeing when it comes to data centre requirements?

Sustainability will be the name of the game. Legislation is expected to come into effect that will require data centre owners and operators to fulfill a green energy quota.

As data centres continue to grow, we see increased demands on local power grids that can cause issues further down the road – this was acutely noted in the Netherlands where all data centre builds were stopped in Amsterdam and Haarlemmermeer because the proper green energy quotas weren’t being met.

How can organisations ensure their data centres are future-proof? Investing in infrastructure hardware that allows for the most flexible and adaptable environment for changes in physical space demands, power loading and cooling requirements would be part of a solid approach to future-proofing.

The hardware that secures, protects, powers and cools racks, cable management and power distribution units (PDUs) can be among the most disruptive to change in an operational data centre and yet a relatively small part of the overall day one budget.

By Jon Barker, Technical Manager for Europe

This article was originally published in the June 2020 issue of Inside Networks magazine.
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