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One hundred twenty thousand dollars! That's the cost of the infrastructure required to power, cool, and support one rack of IT equipment over ten years. This total cost includes the capital expenditure to purchase and install the necessary equipment and the operational expenditure to support and maintain that equipment. The equipment within the rack will change a few times but the facility equipment will likely be around for the full ten years.
Costly as it is, data centers typically utilize much less than 50% of the physical and power infrastructure. In fact, oversized infrastructure is the single largest avoidable cost of most data centers. Not only is the unused capacity an avoidable capital cost, it also represents avoidable operating and maintenance costs.
Anyone in the information technology (IT) or facilities business has seen unused data center space and observed unused power capacity or other underutilized infrastructure in data centers. In order to quantify this phenomenon, it is important to define the terms used for discussion (see the table 1).
Figure 1 shows a planning model that can be used to illustrate the causes of unused capacity. The following assumptions were used to generate the model:
* The design life of a data center is ten years.
* The data center plan has an ultimate design power capacity and an estimated start-up power requirement.
During the lifecycle of a data center, the power requirement increases linearly from the actual start-up power requirement and achieves the design power capacity halfway through its expected lifecycle.
In this illustration, the initial power capacity installed is equal to the ultimate installed power capacity and is 100% (the system is completely built-out from the beginning). The plan is for the actual load to start at the estimated start-up power requirement and ramp up to the ultimate actual power requirement, which is typically equal to the design power capacity.
However, the actual start-up power requirement is typically lower than the estimated start-up power requirement, and it ramps up to an ultimate actual power requirement. which is considerably less than the design power capacity.
Studies of actual installations provide the following assumptions:
* Estimated start-up power …