Ageing data centers limiting benefits of new technologies

19th December 2007
By Janine Milne,

Many firms are ignoring their long-term data center requirements, even though their ageing infrastructures are already struggling to cope with newer technologies such as blade servers.

A worldwide Aperture Research Institute survey of 600 data centers revealed that more than one-third were over four years old. They were battling to cope with the power and cooling needs of newer technologies such as blade servers and vitualization, but slow to respond to these extra demands on their infrastructure. The survey found that 87% of organizations had already invested in blade servers.

"Installing state-of-the-art equipment in an ageing facility will limit the benefits that can be delivered by the new technology, and in some cases, will overload the infrastructure to the point of failure," said ARI principal Steve Yellen.

Two-thirds of respondents said that they are not planning to build new data centers. Because it can take three or four years to plan and implement a new facility, ARI warned that this would leave them ill-equipped to deal with the rising demands on the data center.

Despite the green lobby calling for more efficient power usage, ARI's research shows that power demands showed scant sign of slowing up. More than half those firms building or planning to build data centers expected to consume between one and five megawatts, and almost a quarter thought they would use double that.

"You can't simply 'build' a data center overnight. Instead of fire fighting the issues created by this short-term planning and trying to manage outdated data centers, organizations should be focused on overall business goals and the role that long-term data center planning can have in business effectiveness," said Yellen.

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