Gartner warns of datacentre power load increase

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Gartner warns of datacentre power load increase

Cooling and space issues highlighted.

Datacentre cooling and power requirements will increase dramatically over the next two years following a sharp rise in high density infrastructure deployments, according to Gartner.

The analyst firm said in its Data Center Power, Cooling and Space report that the increased load will require more space, and that companies need to act now to avoid problems in the future.

"Server sales are expected to rise in the next two years, and many IT administrators are already grappling with datacentre power, cooling and space issues with their current fleet," said Rakesh Kumar, a research vice president at Gartner.

"Virtualisation and consolidation projects will help offset some of these issues but, with the snowball effect that these issues tend to create, companies need to act quickly."

Kumar pointed out that, although servers consume just 15 per cent of the energy in a datacentre, a rise in the number of servers leads to more heat and the need for more cooling equipment.

Gartner has come up with a number of recommendations that companies should implement over the next two years, and warned managers not to underestimate the problem.

"Users need to get accurate capacity-related data to quantify the impact of infrastructure expansion on the amount of datacentre power, cooling and available space," the report said.

Gartner urged organisations to spend time modelling hardware deployments, and assessing their impact in a controlled manner, and to use readily available energy monitoring tools to provide the clearest possible view of capacity.

Virtualisation will also help to limit overspend in datacentres as it saves floor space while providing extra capacity, Gartner said.

Brian Murray, principal consultant at Morse, argued that optimising datacentres is only half the battle.

"As well as optimisation, power use needs to be rigorously monitored and controlled, not just in the datacentre but across the business, so that IT departments know exactly what their energy requirements are and can predict how any expansion will alter this," he added.

"Yet at the moment 70 per cent of organisations don't know how much power their IT infrastructure actually uses. Without addressing this lack of knowledge, they will never address the increased pressure that high-infrastructure deployments will bring."

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