Three best practices IT leaders must consider to future-proof their data centre operations

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, data centres face increasing demands for performance while combating the challenges of heat generation and energy consumption. According to a recent McKinsey study, efficient cooling is a crucial factor in the profitability of a data centre, considering that cooling accounts for around 40 per cent of a data centre’s energy consumption. However, maintaining optimal temperatures within data centres can be a significant challenge, affecting both energy consumption and the overall reliability of operations.

As the scale and performance demands for today’s data centres continue to increase, so does the need for superior cooling. Computing creates heat. Data centres, which are filled with servers, generate lots of heat. Excessive heat can cause hot spots that lead to equipment failure and downtime. To address these concerns, it’s important for Canadian IT leaders to adopt practices that will maintain shareholder optimism, prioritize optimal temperatures in data centres and reduce energy consumption during their operations:

  1. Optimal Cooling Solutions: Effective cooling is essential to prevent equipment failure and downtime caused by excessive heat. By leveraging precision, in-row cooling units placed near the heat source, data centres can significantly reduce energy consumption. Additionally, the use of air economizers, which bring in cold air from the outdoors, and innovative approaches like using cold water from alternative sources can contribute to energy efficiency. Implementing these cooling solutions helps maintain a healthy data centre environment that is future proof, eliminates hot spots, and avoids premature equipment failure, ensuring uninterrupted performance.
  2. Integrated Cooling Infrastructure: A reliable and integrated cooling infrastructure is crucial for addressing the challenges posed by high-density and variable-density IT equipment. It’s crucial to implement solutions ranging from chiller and economizer plants to computer room air conditioners, in-row cooling, and room cooling. With this integrated approach, cooling problems can be tackled head-on, reducing costs, and minimizing downtime risks. By eliminating hot spots and ensuring constant temperature regulation, data centres can optimize performance and avoid system crashes or random reboots.
  3. Energy-efficient Infrastructure: To enhance efficiency and reduce energy consumption, IT leaders should leverage energy-efficient infrastructure solutions. It is possible to find a wide range of solutions designed to optimize power usage effectiveness (PUE) and reduce overall energy consumption in data centres. These solutions include intelligent power distribution systems, advanced UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) technologies, and efficient server virtualization strategies. By implementing these practices, data centres can achieve higher energy efficiency, lower operating costs, and contribute to a sustainable environment.

To add to this, the strategic role of software, AI, and predictive analytics in anticipating potential issues and driving energy-saving efficiencies is noteworthy. Through the integration of predictive tools, businesses can proactively identify and address concerns before they escalate, enhancing the overall reliability and robustness of data centre operations.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Jim Kalogiros
Jim Kalogiros
Jim Kalogiros is the Vice President for Secure Power at Schneider Electric Canada. Jim boasts more than 23 years of IT experience and has held a variety of roles at Schneider Electric since joining the organization in 2005. He is a graduate of York University’s Bachelor of Commerce program.

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