7 Trends in Data Center Engineering

For the majority of us, having data matters, especially if you are on your family’s cell phone plan and you notoriously go over your data limit, but what  does managing data look like if you are a  fortune 500 corporation? A university? Or a building that supports multiple tenants?

Business leaders choose to invest in proper data centers as it is critical to remaining organized and offering building occupants an opportunity to work without interruption. And more importantly, data centers safely and securely save projects and information that are the foundation of the business.

According to Cisco online, “At its simplest, a data center is a physical facility that organizations use to house their critical applications and data. A data center’s design is based on a network of computing and storage resources that enable the delivery of shared applications and data.”[1]

Because of how fast technology evolves, technology designers, like those at IP Design Group, are required to remain up-to-speed on industry changes. Our team is committed to finding solutions that are catered to our client’s data center needs, while also informing them of new trends, too.

Andrew Hanrath, DCDC, a project manager and systems integrator at IP Design Group, shares some of his experience designing data centers.

“Information technology changes much more rapidly than many other industries, and as a result, the building systems that support them must also change and adapt in conjunction.  Staying aware of industry changes in information technology equipment is critical to delivering data center designs that accommodate these ever-evolving technologies.”

Scott Data Center
IP Design Group Structured Cabling
1201 Cass Street
Scott Data Center

Hanrath and the IP Design Group team members factor in a variety of current trends into their design choices when working with clients to help them achieve their goals. For our clients, describing why certain trends matter is at the center of our interactive planning process. To help sum up some of the current trends, Hanrath broke them down into seven categories and shares in detail what they are and why it matters.

Trend #1: Distributed, In-Row (Closely Coupled) Cooling
  • Description: Cooling equipment installed directly adjacent to information technology equipment often in-row with server cabinets.
  • Why it matters: Offers improved energy efficiencies, reduces the need for a raised floor system, and enables higher heat load densities.
Trend #2: Hot Aisle/Cold Aisle Separation and Containment
  • Description: Configuration of server cabinets such that hot aisles and cold aisles are physically separate and provide an air-sealed barrier between supply and return airflows.
  • Why it Matters: Ensures supply air temperatures are maintained at correct levels in information technology equipment and increases cooling system efficiency.
Trend #3: Electrical Busway
  • Description: Overhead electrical distribution with configurable bus plugs providing branch circuits to server cabinets.
  • Why it Matters: Enables flexibility to deploy a multitude of branch circuit configurations quickly and easily based on changing information technology equipment requirements over time.
Trend #4: Lithium-ion Batteries
  • Description: Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) energy storage based on lithium-ion-based batteries.
  • Why it Matters: Lithium-ion batteries have higher energy densities than traditional nickel-metal hydride or wet-cell batteries and, therefore, reduce the amount of footprint required for UPS equipment so that additional space can be provided for information technology equipment.
Trend #5: Hyperconvergence
  • Description: Consolidation of computing, networking, and storage functions into common physical information technology infrastructure.
  • Why it Matters: Hyperconvergence leads to higher cooling and power densities within the data center and, therefore, drives cooling and power systems design.
Trend #6: Data Center Monitoring
  • Description: Sensors and information points that monitor environmental temperature, humidity, pressure, power consumption, support system statuses, network utilization, CPU utilization, and equipment deployments.
  • Why it Matters: Providing real-time monitoring of the entire data center enables operators visibility into systems operations and maintain service uptime.
Trend # 7: CFD Modeling
  • Description: Computer modeling simulations of data center cooling systems.
  • Why it Matters: Enables the design team to ensure the fulfillment of rack-level cooling requirements.

Thinking about what the future of your data center can be overwhelming. But it can also be pretty important. After all, you don’t want to be like that family member who is to blame for the lack of monthly data. So, let us do the heavy lifting and contact IP Design Group today to discuss your data center needs.

IP Design Group has over 15+years of experience with designing data centers. To see a sample of our projects, and gain more knowledge about the services we offer, take a look at the following projects: Four Partners Place, Scott Technology Center, and Union Pacific Center.

 

Works Cited

[1]“What Is a Data Center?” Cisco, Cisco, 12 June 2020, www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/data-center-virtualization/what-is-a-data-center.html.