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Will Data Demand Cause Data Center Power Problems?
The instability and the uncertainty of the Euro, despite being an ocean removed, are affecting the entire world economy, and data centers are no exception. In fact, data center power issues could be a challenge with the uncertain economic future.
The International Data Corporation’s (IDC (News - Alert)) take on the server sales for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) tells us that sales activity in Europe is minimal, given the instability of the economy there. According to this DatacenterDynamics report, this instability could lead to increased data center power issues. However, the high-density, rack-based server sales are still climbing.
The need for data centers has not waned, and the sales of the high-density servers represent that steady pulse in the industry. But the question remains: Will the high-density sales be enough to take the pressures off existing data centers and quell any data center power problems?
Roughly 20 percent of server nodes sold in the last year were modular servers, according to a research analyst with Enterprise Server Group. What this represents in the market is that there is an ongoing demand for high-end computers and data centers.
It also means that there is now a much higher level of importance placed on EMEA data centers. With a steadily growing demand for the services offered by data centers, the pressure could lead to data center power problems.
Data center power issues crop up because there aren’t enough data centers with the proper number of servers, which means more rack power will be required on existing servers. Sales of rack servers went down around 9.3 percent for the year. Showing worse problems through the four economic quarters were standalone servers and tower servers, which fell by 22 percent.
Likewise, blade servers fell around five percent, but brought in around $620 million in sales. Servers that are density optimized saw great gains of 40-plus percent on the year, bringing in around $61 million.
It’s probably safe to assume that many IT staff members will be bringing in more blade servers, and the data center power for each will have to be found somewhere, demanding an industry-wide solution.
Data center power usage is being addressed stateside with more green energy measures, such as solar power and more efficient and innovative design of new data centers. Apple (News - Alert) is building solar farms in North Carolina to take less energy off the grid for its massive new data center.
The resourcefulness of companies like Apple to address the data center power consumption should lead to more discussion about data center power into the foreseeable future. At the same time, consumers are demanding a greener approach to data center power creation and consumption, which is likely to change the industry over time.
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