Data Centres Must Provide Flexibility To Meet Requirements For Fast Evolving Applications
Flexibility is a Must for Data Centre Infrastructure
I recently had the honour of being invited to participate in a panel discussion at Datacloud Ireland entitled, “Changing Architectures and the Need for Speed.”
The premise of the panel was that increasing volumes of data, higher densities in compute and storage, as well as increasing speed to market, are influencing factors in the design and planning of data centres as they evolve to a new level of maturity.
“Today’s state of the art infrastructure needs to have new levels of flexibility and connectivity to cater for customer demand whilst incorporating new technologies to reach greater efficiencies,” read the introduction to the discussion in which I was joined by Alberto Zucchinali of The Siemon Company and Jan Andersson, an analyst from Wartsila.
Kao Data Ready for OCP Equipment
If you’re familiar with my work at the Kao Data Campus, you may have seen that we’ve been on a journey with the Open Compute Project with the goal of having our first data centre – the 8.8MW Kao Data London One facility – certified OCP-Ready within the few weeks (actually, when I present at the OCP Summit in Amsterdam next month).
What we’re finding, as awareness grows of our offer, is that more and more customers for data centre services expect to see flexibility in the infrastructure to accommodate not only e.g., different resiliency zones to meet the varying requirements of their business critical and non-critical applications, but also the increasingly unpredictable hosted environment needs of emerging application.
The white space within each Kao Data Technology Suite is designed to utilise hot aisle containment rack enclosures or pods, together with diffused cool air process through the Indirect Evaporative Cooling system.
This enables high energy density within the enclosures, together with more a more energy efficient cooling system. Crucially, raised floors are not required to achieve an ASHRAE ‘recommended’ environment. However, the design flexibility means they are available as a customer option.
What OCP brings firmly into view are the benefits that standardization brings to the data centre world when it is made relevant and applicable to the customers’ requirements.
Consider the OCP cabinet which helps speed time to deployment and which is designed with front access to keep personnel comfortably outside the hot aisle where airflows are segregated in contained environments.
Reducing the Complexity of Data Centre Infrastructure Increases Efficiency and Reliability
Applying creativity to the Technical Suite cooling system has enabled a radical re-imagining of the equipment needed, which in turn has greatly reduced the mechanical complexity of the data centre.
This has positive knock-on effects such as increased energy efficiency (Kao Data London One operates with an ultra-low PUE <1.2 even at partial load), reduced maintenance requirements and increased system reliability.
Designing for OCP also incorporated a contaminant monitoring system to detect gaseous contamination.
This is the first time a wholesale data centre developer has incorporated this level of measurement, analytics and control to ensure sensitive electronic circuit boards are not put at risk of corrosion due to airborne contaminants. Unmonitored contamination can drastically reduce equipment mean time to failure (MTTF), causing outages at server level.
As a member of OCP Foundation and the Data Centre Facility (DCF) Project, Kao Data continues to be part of the data centre validation pilot programme, with the objective to extend the programme rollout across the data centre sector.
The expanded programme will help further drive cost efficiencies, resource use reduction and deliver a more competitive environment for application users and developers to work within. At the same time, meeting OCP criteria will help deliver data centres with the speed and flexibility to meet user requirements with a long-term, long life-cycle ROI.