Ebay opened with a presentation on the Mercury project. A free cooling Data Centre project in Phoenix Arizona. A remarkable design with containers on the roof and a design phase with a general inquiry for the RFP through data centre Pulse see youtube: Episode 16 – Modular Data Center RFP and episode 28-29. The result a complex but highly sophisticated design with a low PUE in a desert climate zone. Dean Nelson introduced a different concept in getting the industry involved in designing data centres in a different way.
The software tool Prognose of the British firm Romonet fits perfectly in a comprehensive way of designing data centres. The presentation showed how it is possible to compare different scenario’s in data centre operation and design , in different climate zones, with different partial loads, with different Tiering levels etc. These simulation result in nice graphs with TCO , PUE and other KPI which are important In the data centre. You can simulate in days what otherwise would costs weeks to calculate.
On the Minkels stand my British colleagues were very busy in informing customers and showing our solutions.
Unfortunately I was a little late on the second day for the Google opening session so I dropped in halfway the presentation. Joe Kave gave a very well received insight on impressive below 1.2 PUE figures of their data centres. Have a look at http://www.google.com/about/datacenters/# with a lot of information on how they achieve this. But keep in mind that your business model is quite different from Google’s. Google controls the whole stack from facility to application. And the control seems easier.
In the panel discussion following the Google presentation Joe Kave stated that it is not always that simple. As soon as the PUE comes close to 1 it is obvious that you have to start working on minimizing the IT energy consumption if you want to have an overall impact on your Data Centre energy consumption. To accomplish this the software guys have to write efficient code, so that the servers, storage and network do the maximum of work with a minimum amount of energy. At Google this is done by making the cost of the service depended on the amount of energy used. Probably a good way to achieve this result without introducing all kind of software efficiency metrics like the SPECpower_ssj2008.
The DCD was held for the first time in the Excel International convention Centre. The halls are nice with a bit more space than the Lancaster Hotel but I missed the ambiance off London, the stroll true Hide Park and the feeling to be in a world capital. And organization please don’t serve instant coffee in the afternoon. You don’t have to invite Starbucks but drinkable coffee would be nice.
Down stairs in a large hall Schneider, IBM, Activepower and others showed their new modular concepts. Schneider impressed with a large Uniflair 40 foot cooling container and an equal sized Powercontainer. I missed HP 240a EcoPod(somewhere on a show in Austria) and Schneiders ECObreeze . Colt gave a nice presentation on their modular solution which they build for Verne in Iceland. All the modules and data centre equipment was pre assembled an pre tested in their factory in the UK and shipped to Iceland. And all this was done within 4 months. So from signing the contract to handing over the key it took 120 days to configure, build, preassemble, ship, assemble and commission Verne Globals 500m2 data centre. Hopefully data will be safer than our savings in Iceland.
All together there where more than 10 different presentations around all kind off concepts involving modular data centre design. The form factor hasn’t established yet. For sure its not only a shipping container. A good observation gives that the 19” inch cabinet is undoubtedly in the heart off every modular design.
Separating hot and cold air is a no brainer but all the answers around fire distinguishing in all those different compartments are not yet given. A nice new challenge. Integration of fire detection with DCIM and BMS seems obvious, but it introduces more complexity to the operation. I missed the Siemens presentation on this subject. With 5 simultaneous presentations its impossible to attend everything. During some boring presentations it was nice to have the thick conference pack so I could read what I was missing at that moment in the other rooms.
The KBC presentation on their new twin data centre in Hungary was very impressive. KBC is consolidating 23 local server rooms in 4 Central and Easter European countries to 2 times 2000m2 new data centres in one country. A process with all the major components off a successful Project. See: https://multimediafiles.kbcgroup.eu/ng/published/KBCCOM/PDF/COM_RVG_pdf_KBC_start_een_nieuw_computerdatacentrum_op_nabij_Boedapest_EN.pdf
And a lot off presentations on Data Centre Infrastructure Management. The market is moving and becoming more mature. Its not only about how to design a good DC but more and more about how to effectively measure and manage all the processes in the DC. But take care, implementing a DCIM system can become as complex as starting with a new ERP system. It is probably wise to start simple.
A short 10 minute taxi trip brought us back to London City airport and after a smooth flight to Eindhoven I could just say goodnight before my children went to bed.