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Gartner: Data Center Problems Ahead

Energy, staffing, and hardware costs lead the list of worsening challenges facing data center managers, research firm says.
  • Manage energy and facilities cost. Tools and techniques include raising the temperature of the data center to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, using outside air when possible as an alternative to air conditioning, setting up hot aisle/cold aisle configurations and deploying server-based energy management software tools to run workloads the most energy-efficient way
  • Manage the people costs. Workers remain the single largest cost element for most data centers, accounting for as much as 40% of overall costs.
  • And avoid needless procurement of new assets. Servers' useful life often exceeds their amortized life, so monitor the condition of hardware carefully.
  • The research firm also advises making the measurement of energy efficiency a high priority. Advanced monitoring, modeling, and measuring techniques and processes are essential to the adoption of many new technologies and adherence to government policies.

    Gartner also lists several tips for refurbishing a data center. First is evaluating the location of the facility. Labor rates and the cost of energy need to be weighed against security risks.

    Next, the size of the site has to be measured against whether it can accommodate growth. A refurbished site must provide at least five years of capacity, including physical, electrical and networking, to make the project worthwhile.

    Finally, in determining whether a data center overhaul is necessary, companies need to look carefully at the technical problems of integrating new components into an existing facility. They should also determine whether it is possible to keep the data center running while renovations are underway.