Future-proofing data centres: The demands on networking and design
Thu 2 Feb 2017 | Thorsten Punke
Thorsten Punke, Global Market Manager Data Center at Huber+Suhner, argues how design and networking decisions in the data centre are crucial for ensuring the efficient introduction of newer technologies…
Data centres are undeniably a critical part of our technology-centred world. Most, if not all of our online and digital services rely on data centres to provide the reliable, efficient and accessible service consumers expect. But like all technology, time takes its toll and newer, faster and more modern technology replaces the old.
However, through the advent of more future-proof technology for data centres, the redundancy of vital technologies – and the need for their replacement – is becoming a thing of the past. Replacing such crucial technology infrastructures such as data centres takes a lot of time and money, all the while disrupting the provision of service. This has a major impact on both consumer and provider, making the prevention of the need for such replacements all the more important in our modern world.
Leading companies are constantly pioneering and developing technology which extends the efficiency lifespan of a data centre, allowing for older technologies to remain efficient and reliable without having to replace the entire system, saving both time and money, whilst also allowing for the continual development of technologies that will eventually replace those which exist today.
The importance of modular technology
The incorporation of modular technology into data centres is paramount to the ensuring of their continual reliability. By using modular systems as building blocks within a network server, you remove the need to replace the entire unit when the technology becomes obsolete. This makes for a more efficient and less obtrusive maintenance of the system preventing any impact on the data centre’s ability to provide a service.
One of the greatest threats to data centres is the ever increasing demand placed upon the system, leading to the installation of more and more server units, creating the issue of heat and excessive cabling. Through a modular design, these issues can be prevented, as a modular design allows for better temperature management within the system, as well as the inclusion of fibre-optic cabling, increasing the distance and speed by which information is communicated.
It is both cheaper and more energy efficient to run a network system utilising fibre-optic cabling
It is through these modular designs that data centre owners and operators can get the most out of their systems, with modular components allowing for more space to be allocated to increasing the system’s output, increasing revenue and the overall quality of the service.
The need for fibre networking
Alongside modular designs, fibre networking cables are another vital way in which a data centre can be future-proofed. With more and more service providers relying on the management of their systems through a data centre, the demand upon the network itself increases. Previously, older forms of cabling were sufficient, however, with time, these older cable designs are simply not capable of meeting today’s demanding requirements.
Fibre-optic cable allows for less energy to be required to send information across the cable from one system to another. This means that it is both cheaper and more energy efficient to run a network system utilising fibre-optic cabling, meaning less downtime or temperature related issues such as overheating.
The companies which develop the technology within fibre-optic cabling try to ensure maximum energy and temperature efficiency. This allows for the potential to upgrade a data centre’s 10G system to one which can transmit 40-100G of data instantly, meaning users can receive and access data much quicker with less demand on the system as a whole.
Development of this technology is ongoing, meaning that newer, even more effective ways of operating a data centre will soon be available
One of the single greatest issues for data centres is electromagnetic interference, which is caused whenever large quantities of electronic equipment are placed within close proximity to each other. As fibre-optic cabling utilises light to transmit signals, the interference caused by electromagnetic interference is all but nullified, preventing any obstacle to the system’s reliability for its users.
Utilising technology to achieve maximum efficiency
By using both modular and fibre-optic technology, data centres can ensure the future-proofing of their network systems, protecting their reputation for providing a reliable service to their consumers. Without the companies developing these fundamental building blocks for a data centre, their efficiency and lifespan would be a fraction of what it can be when designed with these technologies.
However, research and development of this technology is ongoing, meaning that newer, even more effective ways of operating a data centre will soon be available. The implementation of this new technology, however, will not be an issue thanks to the modular design of modern systems, which allows for the easy replacement and moving of components within a data system.
It is impossible to imagine just where the technology being constantly developed by these companies will take data centres and their consumers, but thanks to the integral design of this technology, it can be assured that the eventual introduction of newer technology will be both efficient and convenient thanks to the ongoing future-proofing of data centre networking systems.