Data Centers Should Be Designed with Density in Mind

Virtualization

Virtualization rates to reach 86% in 2016

More than half of all server workloads have been virtualized, according to Gartner, and the analyst firm expects virtualization rates to reach 86% in 2016. Organizations of all sizes are using virtualization to consolidate their compute environments, thereby reducing operational costs and power, cooling and space requirements.

Now virtualization is extending to other components within the data center, including networks and storage, in order to gain greater flexibility and automation. Increased virtualization sets the stage for the software-defined data center (SDDC) model, which promises to deliver unprecedented efficiency, asset utilization and cost savings. The SDDC combines high levels of virtualization and intelligent orchestration tools to create aggregated pools of data center resources and automate the management, provisioning and configuration of infrastructure and applications.

These technology trends have had a dramatic impact upon data center infrastructure. As organizations deploy fewer, more powerful servers to support virtualization, they have come to accept high-density designs that pack more computing power into a smaller space.

Not so long ago, data centers had an average power density of about 5 kilowatts (kW) per cabinet or rack. Today, the average power density is more than double that and traditional data center infrastructure designs are struggling under the load. As power densities continue to increase, it is essential to design the data center with density in mind.

DAMAC racks deliver the features you need to meet today’s high-density requirements, including:

  • More mountable space within a standard rack footprint, and recessed side panels that allow for zero-clearance coupling of cabinets
  • Tubular steel construction and fully welded seams, enabling racks to be transported while loaded with up to 3,500 pounds of equipment without losing structural integrity
  • Streamlined cable management and multiple pass-through ports in top panels for routing cables

Increased data center densities also require a thoughtful approach to thermal management. As we pack more powerful servers within the same physical space, heat increases dramatically. Although the ASHRAE Thermal Guidelines for Class 1 data centers now call for a top recommended temperature of 81 degrees, organizations must provide optimal cooling in order to prevent equipment failure and achieve energy savings.

Legacy Computer Room Air Conditioner (CRAC) systems are often incapable of cooling high-density environments, and inadequate airflow creates hot spots that threaten server reliability. In addition, traditional racks generally lack the capacity to support the increased clearance required by next-generation equipment.

DAMAC Airflow

DAMAC Racks increase cooling efficiency

DAMAC racks increase the cooling efficiency of high-density environments through:

  • Energy-efficient cabinets that are hot-aisle/cold-aisle ready and exceed active equipment airflow requirements
  • Built-in air dams that eliminate air mixing by preventing air from leaking along the sides of the equipment
  • Unique designs that recess cables and power distribution units (PDUs) into the cabinet frame to ensure exhaust air is not obstructed

There’s little question that data center densities will continue to increase, and retrofitting an existing data center to accommodate high-density requirements can be costly and disruptive. A better approach is to design the data center infrastructure with density in mind using DAMAC racks.

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