10 Takeaways from Data Centre World, London8 min read

by | Mar 6, 2014 | Blog

Data Centre World, the UK’s premier conference for data center experts and professionals took place last week in London (note: this differs from AFCOM’s Data Center World to be held in Las Vegas next month). Upsite Technologies’ President and CEO, Peter Crook, and Director of Global Technical Sales, Howard Blevins attended the conference to connect with our European partners and end-users, and also glean some insights on the industry happenings across the pond.

Here are 10 key takeaways they learned from the conference:

10 Key Takeaways

  1. Data Center design has not changed fundamentally in the last 20 years, even though business needs and accompanying technology to drive them (in the data center) have evolved rapidly, and continue to do so.
  2. The wide range of differing technologies implemented in data centers does not usually make for a seamless integration and high-level understanding of what is happening in a data center. Competing vendors such as DCIM, intelligent PDUs, Building Management Systems (BMS), environmental monitoring systems, Digital KVM/remote access, etc. may all monitor and report information separately. Managing this information and obtaining a holistic snapshot of the data center “ecosystem” is difficult.
  3. In a similar vein, “Energy Metrics” are continuing to expand beyond PUE. How to manage, interpret, and act on many pieces of data is becoming increasingly difficult. Metrics include: -PUE
    -Carbon Usage Effectiveness (CUE)
    -Water Usage Effectiveness (WUE)
    -Data Center Performance per energy unit
    -Fixed to Variable Energy Ratio
    -Rack Cooling Index (RCI)
    -Return Temperature Index (RTI)
  4. General trend towards COLOs and MTDCs are not always viewed as best or inevitable option. Some firms are still sticking with their own internally designed and managed data centers for total control, understanding, and granularity of every critical system and data contained within.
  5. Business climate in EMEA continues to improve. Cautious optimism prevails.
  6. Consolidation is still a heavy trend. This, combined with the use of denser, consolidated server platforms, creates an environment ripe for improvement around airflow management optimization. According to DCW, around 20% of the x86 machines purchased in the UK alone last year were blade servers (Additionally, 7% were density-optimized servers). Both, when used in consolidation, require extremely high power density in the data center and the production of the associated heat load that needs to be precisely cooled.
  7. In contrast, virtualization vs. consolidation was very dominant in the dialogs. Energy challenges and real estate costs have helped drive this. One report stated that the percentage of servers that are shipped and immediately virtualized are rapidly approaching the 40% mark. This is at deployment and not the virtualization of existing computing power. In some large owner/enterprise environments, this percentage is approaching 60%–70%.
  8. Cloud Services have exploded in the last year with the UK having an incredible rate of adoption.
  9. While data centers still provide the same function, and the basic M&E infrastructure needs to exist, the land of multiple computing environments seems much more advanced in Europe than in North America. Modular/flexible data center infrastructure (both “in a box” and “just add-on”) seems popular. This, combined with cloud adoption, means companies can adapt faster to change and IT demands. However, many key enterprise companies are still embracing the internally designed, commissioned, owned and operated data centers for total control.
  10. With the movements and trends in the EU to address energy, regulations, carbon footprint, and optimizing real estate, we are wise to look across the pond as the days of our cheap power and new raw land for greenfield sites will be diminishing in the near future.

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