Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  15 Sep 2011

INFOTECH: Cloud Computing Technology – How is the Data Centre Affected


Recent Gauteng Business News

Cloud computing technology brings a new dynamic to CIO decision making when it comes to technology infrastructure. Applications must be available at all
times, meaning that a company’s data centre infrastructure must be exceptionally reliable and supported by vital power and cooling measures.

However, Eben Owen, E and S sales manager: South Africa at global leader in critical power and cooling services, APC by Schneider Electric, warns that companies
should not oversize their data centres unnecessarily, even with the additional pressures brought on by cloud computing.

“Oversizing has become the single largest avoidable cost associated with the typical data centre and network room infrastructure, driving capital and
maintenance expenses to excessive levels,” he explains. “In fact, most data centres use less than 50 percent of their physical and power infrastructure. This
unused capacity represents not only an avoidable capital cost, but preventable operating and maintenance expenses too.”

Not Having Cloud Computing Technology Comes at a Price

This wastage does not come cheaply. Over sizing the data centre can be costly and expenses can be split into capital and operating costs. Capital costs
include the costs of the excess power and cooling equipment, as well as capitalised design and installation costs, including wiring and ductwork.

On the side of operating costs, there is the cost of operating the facility, including maintenance contracts, consumables and electricity. Since over sizing
gives rise to underutilized equipment that must be maintained, a large fraction of the maintenance cost is also wasted.

Says Owen: “Excess electricity costs are significant when data centres are oversized. The idling loss of a data centre is approximately five percent of the
power rating. When the cooling costs are factored in, this figure doubles to 10 percent. Hence, for an oversized 100kW data centre, the wasted electricity
over a 10-year span is roughly 600,000kWh.

Implementing Cloud Computing Technology

“Instead of building a data centre in advance, businesses should rather implement a solution that can track the actual load requirement and constantly adapt
to changing requirements. An architecture, like APC’s InfraStruXure is ideal as it provides pre-engineered modular building blocks that can be grown or
reduced as needed and also eliminates special site preparations, such as raised floors, wiring, drilling and cutting.”

“When it comes to moving into the cloud, it is critical to remember that this type of technology requires the same infrastructure as a traditional data
centre setup,” he states. “This means that although availability is becoming increasingly important, it should not deter organisations from building a data
centre by using cloud computing technology that is fit for purpose rather than based on hypothetical future needs.”

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