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The Stack Archive

Talk of modernising the data centre is back in fashion says Franek Sodzawiczny

Mon 21 Jul 2014

Franek Sodzawiczny discusses what should be the long and short term objectives of a modernisation programme

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The topic of data centre modernisation continues to appear on the business agenda for 2014 – it’s even announced as one of the hot topics to be covered at the Gartner Data Centre Summit in November. But modernisation, as a term, can cover a number of sins, so what should the industry be addressing when (or if) preparing an associated plan to stay ahead of the curve? In my opinion the key short-term area is reducing your carbon footprint whilst longer term it’s about introducing innovation in data centre design.

An IDC survey, interviewing 400 data centre managers, found that reducing energy consumption still ranked as their number one priority. With costs escalating around such supplies this is perhaps an unsurprising goal.

Clive Longbottom from Quocirca  suggested that organisations often begin by targeting data centre IT equipment and how effectively it is used. Whilst this can without doubt bring rapid results, Longbottom also warned that in key ways this approach misses the overall point of carbon emission reduction and for longer term savings any strategy to reduce carbon emissions has to be well-planned and well-implemented.

However, I think you can take a much quicker approach to impacting the bottom line, by making it a critical issue for a data centre operator partner to address and resolve. These industry players are the best in the business at what they do so challenge them to tackle this issue whilst your in-house IT team focuses on supporting your business.

On to design. I’ve talked about this before but it’s of paramount importance to continually innovate. I fear the industry is at risk of just repeating the concepts and formulae that work today without having a true vision of what a data centre will be expected to deliver tomorrow. Designs must now be driven by business-led data centre experts, translating technological advances into operational benefits. After all, if we didn’t continually improve upon on what we have come to accept as ‘standard’ man would never have progressed to invent the wheel.

Franek Sodzawiczny is the CEO of Zenium Technology Partners

This article first appeared in Data Centre Management magazine Summer 2014

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carbon data centre feature
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