More businesses are bucking the expectation to put their workloads into public cloud as they realise greater benefits from bespoke, high-density data centres, an AFCOM report indicates.
According to AFCOM’s 2021 State of the Data Center Report, 58 percent of customers are moving away from public cloud towards colocation or private data centres while 62 percent say their rack density has increased in the past three years (25 percent have an average rack density of seven to 10kW).
Organisations such as universities and scientific bodies with intensive research functions need high-density data facilities that are secure, cost-effective, reliable and fast. Similarly, financial traders and other analytics businesses depend on rapid and secure access to data to be profitable and competitive.
With greater use of high-performance computing (HPC), the ‘High-Density Data Centre’ (HDDC) is now a popular — and necessary — option for data-led organisations. A HDDC intensifies the typical data centre’s rack and power densities to support workloads like those generated by heavy data-crunching activities such as in pharmaceutical research and cryptocurrency mining. The resulting heat build-up in a HDDC is best shed using cutting-edge ‘on-chip’ and ‘immersion cooling’ — the latter submerges bare metal in non-conductive cooling fluid to ensure the HPC runs at peak efficiency.
All of which enables a HPC to deliver maximum benefits, reliably and effectively at a lower total cost of ownership compared to alternatives therefore maximising investment.
What drives high-density adoption in the data centre?
Organisations have sophisticated applications and workloads demanding a higher level of computing power — capacity that’s not available in the cloud or traditional data centres. So HDDCs are surging in popularity for data-intensive organisations using Graphics Processing Units (GPU) for their HPCs.
Since a HDDC tends to be tailored for an organisation’s unique needs, IT investment is optimised through closer and fewer interconnects and fewer racks. Supported by close-coupled cooling and containment systems, a HDDC may lower power consumption for each compute node to reduce its carbon footprint.
Choosing a HDDC: Know what to demand for high-performance results
Although HDDCs share principles such as density and connectivity, they differ considerably between providers. If your business needs a HDDC to support its HPC systems, here are questions to ask a potential provider:
Do you offer bespoke HDDC facilities?
To get what you need at the best price, choose a tailored solution. Your data centre provider should collaborate to ensure it satisfies your organisation’s needs now and in the future.
Do you support high-performance computing?
Businesses with a HPC tend to benefit from a HDDC environment operating under extreme performance conditions of up to 100kW a rack. For instance, researchers or high-frequency traders can’t afford delays in data access or processing speeds.
Do you have custom cooling options?
A HDDC is defined by how well it cools. When speaking to a data centre provider, ask if their cooling solution matches your IT equipment.
Interactive is one of the very few providers in Australia that offers immersion cooling. This type of liquid cooling differs from traditional air cooling because it cuts the needs for space and electrical infrastructure, supports high performance applications, minimises power consumption, and supports greater rack density.
Can this option save you money?
Investment in a HPC solution is significant and so it is critical the data centre supports it. More importantly, the environment housing the IT must be integral to the purchase decision.
It is common for a HPC purchase to trigger power or cooling upgrades. Collaborating with an experienced HDDC provider, such as Interactive, before investing in a platform provides critical solutions insights and the best technical and commercial outcomes possible.
Does your provider offer onsite expertise and technical advice?
Although it’s important to choose a data centre based on your technical requirements and capacity for data management, there’s also the people aspect to consider. Regrettably, most data centre problems are caused by human error.
Do you have a support team you can trust in your data centre? And what happens when something goes wrong — whom do you call? And can you be confident they have the capability and capacity to quickly resolve your problem?
At Interactive, we provide our HDDC customers with our Tech Hands service, as well as technical advice, project management, equipment relocations, installations and onsite hardware maintenance.
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