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Paint it green
Data Center Dynamics Conference and Expo series has established itself as the worldï¿½s leading forum for those involved in the construction and operation of mission-critical facilities. Its second annual Data Center Dynamics event in Bangalore focused on greening the Data Centers and how power and cooling are affecting operations. Abhinav Singh and Mohd Shariff PA report
Power and cooling problems including the complexities of managing Data Centers are prime challenges that have forced five of the top fifteen Indian Data Centers to move out of the country recently. The list includes Infosys Technologies and Reliance both among the top five companies that moved their Data Centers to foreign locations after they faced repeated challenges posed by power shortages, cooling requirement and complexities of managing their Data Centers. These were some of the opening statements made by Stephen Worn, CTO and group director of the Data CenterDynamics Conference and Expo Series that set the tone for the second annual Data CenterDynamics which was held in Bangalore.
The problems of Data Centers are growing and there are many ways in which they can be addressed. The Data CenterDynamics event had interesting sessions coupled with exhibition stalls set up by different vendors. The event drew close to 600 delegates from across the countryï¿½some coming from adjoining countries such as Sri Lanka. According to Worn the number of delegates almost doubled from 300 delegates who attended the 2006 event. Worn pointed out that the principal Data Center challenges included power, cooling, cabling and blade servers all of which need to be addressed.
The day long event also gave delegates and vendors a perfect platform to sit together for networking activities. The event had a long list of sponsors, which included platinum sponsors such as Schneider Electric, Emerson Network Power and Panduit. The Gold Sponsors included Hewlett Packard, Cummins Power Generation, Stulz and NetMagic. The Silver sponsors such as IBM, Tyco Electronics, SCHNABEL AG, Hitec Power Protection, Rittal, ADC KRONE, Piller Power Systems, SOCOMEC, Frankfurt Data Center, Current Brothers and Server Technology. Express Computer was the official media partner for the event.
Sunil Kumar Sood, President, Indian Association of Energy Management Professionals during his presentation on The importance of Energy Independence emphasized the importance of energy conservation. He mentioned that Data Centers were major consumers of energy resources in India. Citing examples, Sood said that Data Centers in the United States consume around 61 billion units of electricity annually, which is around 1.5% of the total power consumption in the US. He added that a particular Data Center in the UK consumed around 0.75% of that countryï¿½s total power consumption. Sood added that Data Centers were highly energy-intensive and consumed 10 to 100 times more energy per square foot than a typical office building were bound to have a large potential impact on electricity supply and distribution. He also said that since 25% of the total carbon dioxide emissions across the globe were from Data Centers a lot of emphasis should be laid on making Data Centers environment-friendly and less power hungry by using energy-efficient microprocessors and servers and also aim at reducing the number of servers and storage and server boxes in a Data Center through consolidation. He added that Rs 50,00,000 crores of investment would be required to meet Indiaï¿½s energy requirements.
Durgadutt Nedungadi, Director-Marketing and Alliances, HP India dwelt upon an Adaptive Infrastructure for Data Centers. He said that his company believe in using its experience, its own products and services, its own people, tools, and methods to build a platform and test it in its Data Centers before presenting it to customers. Nedungadi explained that Data Center automation is necessary to improve efficiencies. He said that procuring and installing a server in a Data Center costs less than the power and the cooling equipment required to run it. Nedungadi said that since energy costs were rising it was taking as much power to cool as to power computing systems. He added that HPï¿½s Dynamic Smart Cooling technology had sensors on each rack which could sense how hot or cold a rack was and generate a thermal footprint so that cooling could be provisioned accordingly.
Sanjay Sainani, Vice President, Enterprise and Systems Line of Business, APJ (Asia Pacific and Japan) Schneider Electric in his presentation on The Greener Data Center said that power consumption by Data Centers has quadrupled during the past three years. Sainani added that oversizing is a primary contributor to Data Center inefficiency. He explained that a properly designed and efficient UPS had the ability to reduce proportional power losses in a Data Center compared to past designs by at least 50%.
Richard Jye Chen, Site Services Specialist, IBM Global Services shared his view on greening the Data Center. He said, ï¿½Data center challenges affect both physical Data Center (power density in UPS, switches, lights) and other IT systems as 30% of the energy goes into IT systems. There is a need for active energy management.ï¿½ He added that by going green, organizations would realize major benefits in meeting regulations and standards. Having designed over a hundred Data Centers Chen talked about the IBM Green Project that aims to minimize the use of energy, water and materials while cutting waste and improving health and air quality at the same time reducing, reusing and recycling. The project focuses on four business issuesï¿½power and cooling to reduce energy requirements and subsequently the use of blade servers that consumes 20 to 45% less power and cooling than rack-mount technologies, business resiliency (redesign of Data Centers), consolidation of Data Centers to reduce costs (server consolidation) and going global. Chen suggested using the hot aisle/cold aisle approach to cool Data Centers.
Robert Kleinschmidt, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Panduit, in his presentation on Important Infrastructure Design Considerations explained that there was broad support for Gigabit Ethernet connectivity in IT-enabled organizations. However, the concept is constantly evolving. He said that many organizations are looking towards the benefits of 10 Gigabit Ethernet to support new application requirements. He explained that network planners should carefully consider how new cabling technologies can be deployed to support convergence and high bandwidth applications like compute clusters, grid computing, and storage area network.
Sharad Sanghi, CEO & Founder, NetMagic Solutions said that India has witnessed an increase in the quantum of managed services being outsourced by US-based service providers to India. He talked about the challenges in managing a Data Center in-house and why businesses should look at outsourcing the task. It reduces costs, improves quality, speeds up time to market and mitigates business risk.
R Vasudevan, Vice President-Enterprise Solutions Emerson Network Power in his presentation Enabling Adaptive and Energy Efficient IT Infrastructure gave interesting insights about some power-efficient technologies in the Data Center on which Emerson has worked in the recent past. According to him an Electronically Committed Fan (ECF) cools with 30% greater power-efficiency and has a long lasting embedded design. The company already has 300 installations in India of which 200 are in Bangalore. Additionally Vasudevan dwelt upon Emersonï¿½s patented Digital Scroll technology. The technology offers cooling equipment manufacturers a way to modulate, or automatically adjust the capacity of a cooling compressor so that it precisely matches the refrigeration load, which ultimately leads to increased energy efficiency. Vasudevan said that 68% of Data Centers across the world were in expansion mode and that there was an urgent need to make them more energy-efficient by implementing relevant technologies.
Benjamin Petschke, Head, Product Management and Sales Support, Stulz GmbH talked about the dynamics of air cooling and the need for better design of air conditioning systems inside Data Centers. His presentation highlighted the mistakes that facility managers make while designing air conditioning systems for Data Centers, especially below the tile air conditioning which gets buried inside along with power, cables and pipes that block air circulation. Power, cables and air conditioning should be raised from the floor level so that there is proper air circulation. He talked about Stulz GmbHï¿½s EC Fan technology that, unlike traditional AC fans, has an electronically commutated permanent magnet DC motor a technology that is insensitive to voltage fluctuations and adjustable speeds. It minimizes operating costs with high efficiencies of up to 92%.
During his presentation on Data Centers design considerations, Mylaraiah J.N, Manager, Regional Sales and Systems Application Marketing, Tyco Electronics explained that since the Data Center was a nerve center of the organization its design should be given due thought. Mylaraiah added that before designing a Data Center a proper estimate should be made of all its needs when it is working at full capacity and growth should be anticipated. Similarly an equipment floor plan should be made and due care should be taken in designing the telecommunication cabling system for the floor. According to him Data Center space is precious and it needs to be used wisely.
Dileep Kumar, Project Manager, Global Data Center Core Team, ADC KRONE emphasized the importance of designing optimized Data Centers. He said, ï¿½A properly designed Data Center improves operating efficiency, protects capital investments, ensures reliable operations and helps maintain cost control.ï¿½ According to him there are four key trends which are impacting the design of all Data Centersï¿½IP convergence (more devices on the LAN requiring Ethernet connections; server densities are increasing and blade servers are being added. Additionally 10 Gigabit speeds and SANs have been introduced. All this necessitates a specialized approach for Data Center cooling. There is a new standard called TIA-568 for wiring Data Centers in commercial buildings that needs to be followed for four functional areas inside a Data Centerï¿½the entrance and the primary, horizontal and equipment distribution areas.
Michael Nicolai, International Director and Product Manager, IT cooling, Rittal, pointed out the growing popularity of liquid cooling in the Data Center, which was being adopted increasingly by customers worldwide. He mentioned that temperature was the major culprit, which was harming Data Center equipment as it needed to be dealt with effectively. Nicolai said that Rittal had more than 1,500 customers in the liquid cooling space including automotive majors such as Ford, Mercedes Benz and TRUMPF. In addition to these there were large customers from other verticals namely Philips, AOL, AMD and SAP who were using liquid cooling.
Additionally the event hosted an exhibition where HP was showcasing its Adaptive Infrastructure, NetMagic its managed services solutions, Emerson Power Systems solutions around green Data Centers, Cummins power generators for the Data Center and Stulz precision air conditioning equipment. Panduit showcased its integrated network solutions while Schneider had solutions for capacity and change management along with close coupled cooling solutions. Piller displayed its batteryless UPS, Hitec had put up its high power solutions that give 100% uptime, Tyco Electronics displayed a smart cabling solution for Data Centers, the IBM stall had energy-efficient Data Centers as its theme while Rittal had RiMatrix 5 on display. ADC KRONE showcased a solution centered on Data Center infrastructure design, SOCOMEC had its range of UPS on display marketed by Numeric Power Systems in India and Current Brothers had transformers on display while Server Technology had high-density cabinets having a power distribution unit.