Ringing the changes within the data centre

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Jonathan Duncan
Jonathan Duncan, director for the Central and North East Africa region at APC by Schneider Electric
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While businesses need to tackle issues such as compliance, growing levels of competition, reducing costs and improving agility, IT demands are escalating with the need for consolidation, virtualisation, optimisation, modularity and scalability leading to a complete change in data centre requirements.
“Emerging and broadening information services, such as radio frequency identification (RFID) solutions, also induce changes in data centres; they require more servers and processors, higher network and storage capacity in order to provide faster and better services to customers,” explains Jonathan Duncan, director for the Central and North East Africa region at APC by Schneider Electric.

Jonathan Duncan, director for the Central and North East Africa region at APC by Schneider Electric

Due to these changes, IT professionals face the following challenges:

Speed and agility: The world of business that requires increasingly faster response relies more and more on information systems. Problems within an information system must not hold back the launch of a new service or project.
Footprint, rental costs, and expansion possibilities: Placing more equipment requires more floor space if attempting to stay within existing density and rack load limits. While the costs associated with increasing rental of floor space can be high, these are still unlikely to deter many businesses. Rather the complete lack of adequate amounts of suitable floor space and power will be the inhibitor.
Security requirements, availability: The increasing amount of stored data, threats entering through e-mails and higher availability requirements, demand more secure systems with higher availability. This trend is also fuelled by different requirements, regulations and internal policies. The fastest possible restoration after an unplanned downtime is becoming an even more important factor not only for information systems, but also for server infrastructure. In the case of IT devices, this change drives the emergence of modular systems and virtualisation.
Cost reduction: High -density devices require a different approach to power and cooling and infrastructure devices have to be manageable.
Infrastructure challenges: While best of breed high-density servers actually save power consumption in comparison to conventional servers on a like for like computational basis, their compact form, allowing very dense deployment per hardware footprint, gives rise to very high heat flux densities.
“It is clear that data centre infrastructure has to evolve from a siloed, fragmented environment, to one that is virtualised and collaborative,” Duncan explains. “The new data centre also needs to become future focused, more service oriented and optimised for scalability, agility and resilience in order to improve IT effectiveness and efficiencies, using less power, lowering capital expenditure and increasing output.”

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