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FCW : August 15, 2014
ata centers are at the heart of the modern IT infrastruc- ture, and so they must change as the demands on the in- frastructure change. Squaring the in- creasing mismatch between today's data center and the future needs of the enterprise is the single biggest question IT organizations face. In government, the focus to date has been on how much money can be saved while providing the data processing capacity needed by agencies. It's not a new concern. In 2005, Congress mandated a study of government data centers and energy use. The resulting Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) required agencies to improve the environmental, energy and economic performance of their data centers. That requirement was strength- ened by Executive Order 13514, issued in October 2009, which set sustainability goals for federal agencies, focusing on those same three areas. Last year, Congress introduced the Energy Ef cient Government Technology Act (EEGTA), with the improvement of data center ef ciency strategies put front and center. "We think that could produce extraordinary results, because it requires the use of energy ef- cient technologies," Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), one of the House co-sponsors of the new bill, said shortly after its introduction. "[Re- ports show that] data centers can waste 90 percent or more of the power they pull off the grid [and] we think government should be leading by example." The Government Accountability Of ce has projected that planned reductions in data center numbers and server consolidation could save between $150 to $200 billion by 2020. However, energy ef ciency and dollar savings are not the only requirements. The data center of the future also needs to be "better aligned with IT projects, which means it should add capacity when it's needed, in the form it's needed, and at a generally lower unit cost than today," said Daniel Bizo, a data center technologies analyst with 451 Research. That is going to require a major rethink about how the next genera- tion of data centers are designed and built. And a new generation is needed, he said, because "build- ing a traditional data center is slow and expensive, which leads to substantial nancial risks and limits any data center's ability to react to changing needs effectively." Cloud, network and server virtualization, automated capacity provisioning, software-de ned data centers, dynamic data storage archi- tectures, and modular and prefabri- cated data centers are just some of the technologies that will be part of the next generation data center. But perhaps the biggest pointer to the expectations of these data centers will be in the way they are measured. Power usage ef- ciency (PUE) and, in some areas, water usage ef ciency (WUE) have been the principal metrics. Bizo said those measures are still important, but going forward data centers operations will be as- sessed more like manufacturing operations, with a focus on such measures as gross and operating margins, management of capital outlay, output, and utilization and unit costs. • Sponsored Report NEXT-GENERATION DATA CENTERS Agencies seek bigger boosts in efficiency, performance FOR THE FULL REPORT, GO TO FCW.com/CDWGNextGenDataCenter • Next-Gen designs: Custom or generic? • Agencies look to software-defined future • Future data centers will need a storage rethink • The modular data center gets some traction More Next-Generation Data Center Report Articles:
July 30, 2014
August 30, 2014