A recurring question from the operators of high-availability IT services is ‘How can we be sure about the economic viability of the engineered solution?’ By this mean the topic of data centres is strategic in every company’s life, since such level of capital and operational cost can cause major advantage or handicap on the market.
We have seen how in successive decades, IT equipment refreshes have brought about increased power densities, and this in turn has driven new approaches to powering and cooling IT equipment. The extent to which developments in IT technology will continue, the physical capability to support the hardware environment has to adapt in order to keep the balance.
In terms of the critical engineering, infrastructure reliability is no longer the only driver. Although for many companies, particularly those in the financial- and government sector, the priority remains high uptime, however other firms, such as companies in the telecommunications sector and research institutes, focus on obtaining better energy efficiencies as a priority.
From an investment perspective the typical lifetime of the critical facility is 15 to 20 years. This does not align well with IT equipment because this refreshes typically every 3 years. In other words, it is conceivable that a data centre designed for contemporary technology today, could be obsolete by the time the second generation IT refresh comes around. It is this inconsistency (sometimes referred to as the Technology Facility Paradox) in conjunction with other business processes as expansion, consolidation, mergers and acquisitions that have forced data centre facilities to a previously unseen level of flexibility.
The aim of this thesis is to introduce two solutions and the current international standards connected to data centres, well known terminologies, best practices and technologies, which can be applied in an enterprise environment in order to cost effectively service the continuously changing business needs.