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Why Software-defined Power Will Change the Future Data Center
When was the last time you considered the amount of power your organization was consuming? If you’re responsible for the management of the data center and its budget, it’s likely that you pay close attention to data center power consumption. With the recent explosion in the demand for big data, the pressure is on to identify efficient tools that also deliver the necessary reliability.
This is especially true for the development and support of applications across the enterprise. According to a piece in the Data Center Post, power problems are behind more than half of all application downtime. This percentage is expected to increase as the aging infrastructure of the electric grid is under pressure to meet a growing demand.
There is a reason why power is the primary cause of application downtime. There has been an industry-wide effort to minimize or eliminate all IT failures through the simple abstraction of applications from the IT hardware. This has been accomplished by using virtualization and other software-based mechanisms, combined with the software-defined data center (SDDC).
Concepts driving the SDDC focus on the abstraction of storage, services and networking, providing the ability to define and control something within the software. This effort requires a layer of abstraction between the physical and virtual resources. It offers considerable promise for what’s happening in the data center today, yet it ignores power – which is a big problem.
To try and maintain the benefits promised with this platform, software-defined power is under development. The purpose of this initiative is much the same as the SDDC in that it aims to improve application availability through the same means. It improves uptime by enabling a shift in the application workload to the data center that offers the best dependability, availability and quality of power.
This process enables immunity from the majority of problems on the grid, as well as distribution on both the inside and outside of the data center. IT organizations can leverage this additional layer of automation and intelligence, managing reliability issues through the simple balance of applications across data centers. Automation and dynamic adjustments according to service level requirements and variable application load levels enable optimal reliability.
Software-defined power pays attention to data center power consumption, providing data center managers with the tools they need to automate the process of efficiency. Plus, it can pay for itself in just a year by significantly reducing the data center power consumed; paying lower rates for most of the energy used; and potentially participating in Demand Response programs that have proven very lucrative.
Regardless of the primary motivation, protecting the amount power consumed and focusing on maximum uptime is a key initiative for any data center. Without strength in both areas, the data center will struggle to effectively compete in a global market.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey
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