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FCW : March 30, 2013
he data center is evolving --- and with it the concept of data center ef ciency. It's not just that agencies are under pressure to consolidate and reduce the cost of their data center operations. They also are deal- ing with increasing demands for the applications and services they provide. So simply cutting the amount of energy a data center uses is not enough, though it's still one of the major metrics that is used to gauge ef ciency. Now the avail- ability of new technologies such as virtualization, blade servers and high-density storage, which can pack a lot of processing power in small packages, is helping to drive new notions of data center ef ciency. "Compared to ten years ago, I can put the same amount of pro- cessing power into maybe a third of the space," said Rich Campbell, Federal Chief Technologist at EMC Corp. "That changes the ef ciency model, which is no longer based on compute power per square foot but on compute resources per rack unit." Virtualization, which is key to so many of the other changes go- ing on in government IT, is also the basis for the future ef cient data center. It makes it possible to increase the workload on servers, and it provides more cost-effective ways to address such functions as data recovery, image management and backup. "When we work with agencies on virtualization they certainly start out by looking to traditional elements of ef ciency, such as the power and cooling savings they will make," said Keenan Baker, inside solutions architect for servers and storage at CDW Government (CDW-G). "But as they go through the implementation they also real- ize it eases a lot of other issues, such as bringing machines on line faster and easier, that also trans- lates into cost savings." For the most part, however, agencies still calculate ef ciencies in terms of savings in power and cooling, which is what drives them to invest more in virtualization. They have trouble putting numbers to these other, more intangible aspects of data center ef ciency. The good news is that there's certainly room for agencies to work some magic in boosting data cen- ter ef ciency. Even as they consoli- date their data centers, the space they have available is still large, and utilization rates are nowhere near what they could be. Getting there will take changes, not least in the metrics used to measure progress in making data centers more ef cient. In a time of shared data services, however, there may also be nancial incen- tivetodoso. Sponsored Report "Compared to ten years ago, I can put the same amount of processing power into maybe a third of the space." ---Rich Campbell, Federal Chief Technologist at EMC Corp. THE EFFICIENT DATA CENTER: OPTIMIZATION Rethinking Data Center Efficiency FULL REPORT ONLINE Go to FCW.com/2013EfficientData 2. Virtualization: The key to driving efficiency 3. Storage plays starring role in efficiency efforts 4. Improving efficiency: It's all about metrics 5. Is the containerized data center an answer? Other The Efficient Data Center: Optimization Report Articles
March 15, 2013
April 15, 2013