Data centres: Balancing capacity and costs
Data centres need to tackle the huge demand in data growth alongside the rigorous green standards that have to now be adopted.
The biggest industry challenge in the area of data centres is its exponential growth and only the most responsive organisations are going to be able to accommodate this, according to Kristian Pascoe, ISIS commercial manager. In addition, this huge demand in data growth has to be tackled alongside the rigorous green standards that have to now be adopted.
“The massive cooling infrastructure required by contemporary data centres is the biggest energy consumption pressure on projects,” notes Pascoe. “This is heightened by the reality of power restrictions and soaring costs.”
The growth in demand for centres to accommodate more data – reflecting data growth – has meant innovation in technologies. Most centres now have high-density blade servers, which allow more storage resources within the same space. This can also significantly increase the cooling/power needs for a centre, however, creating a balancing act to be accommodated in design, states Pascoe.
ISIS recently completed a data centre project, contracting on construction and infrastructure installation works, for the University of Melbourne. The data centre, Data Hall 2, accommodates the university’s new IT initiatives, which include cloud and research computing.
“For the stage one project fitout, IBM provided a high-density cooling solution, one which is interestingly based on density,” says Pascoe. She adds that the plant and equipment chosen for the hall are “the most energy efficient systems presently on the market”.
Data Hall 2 is designed to achieve power usage effectiveness (PUE) of 1.3 at maximum capacity and uses technology such as diesel rotary uninterrupted power systems (DRUPS) and high efficiency PowerPax chillers for cooling. According to Pascoe, DRUPS usage is unusual in Australia.
In addition, the Data Hall has been designed to accommodate an IT electrical maximum demand of 1500 kilowatts and total maximum demand of 2400 kilowatts to operate the entire hall.