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Entries in Flash (1)

Monday
May072012

An (Electronic) Alternative to Data Center Construction

In these posts, we’ve covered a variety of ways to extend the life of a data center, or to consider co-location.  All these topics assume the load or demand from the data center equipment is fixed, and that the supply (space, cooling or power) must accommodate the demand.

One client looked at this opportunity a different way and came out with an intriguing alternative.

This client has a data center in a downtown office building.  The data center was hemmed in on all sides, cooling improvements were proving costly, and the lease expiration on the building was on the horizon.

This client had already migrated to blade chassis and virtualized 75% of their environment.

They went the next step, addressing their storage, too. They implemented flash drives over traditional spinning disk.

This client dropped storage heat load by 50%!  Flash drives offer 50% lower heat output consume 55% less energy as compared to spindle based drives and the realized 9  times I/O bandwidth increase. (This helped them consolidate workloads onto fewer disks and drop rack space for storage by 52% as well.)

They were able to leverage this additional bandwidth to meet their business goals with many fewer disks, many of which individually also produced less heat.

They found the capital expenditures for this project was less than expanding the datacenter cooling capacity, given the horizon for retiring the datacenter. Furthermore, this project supported the consolidation of the storage environment, easing the eventual transition out to a new datacenter.

This client found flexibility and adaptability as the most critical design element for a datacenter. When you’re faced with constraints and want to look outside the box, take a different look at what’s in your (datacenter) box first!

What would you do if faced with a similar set of circumstances?