Data center space refers to the area of leased space available for servers to be stored in a data facility, including racks, cabinets, private suits, etc. It typically monitors all electrical and mechanical systems 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Nowadays, more and more companies choose data centers with larger space to meet their growing storage requirements.
However, many enterprises today encounter the challenges of limited data center space. One of the reasons is that the advancement of technology increases their demands for larger data center space, but it will cost a lot to build a new data center. Another factor is the underutilization of data center space. According to the research from an energy consortium called The Green Gird, 43 percent of respondents said they had no strategies in place to boost energy efficiency.
Therefore, it is necessary to learn some strategies to optimize the available space of data centers. Here are ten ways to make the best use of data center space.
Combine white space and gray space: Data center white space refers to the space where IT equipment and infrastructure are located, while data center gray space means the space where back-end equipment is located. By consolidating these two types of data center space, enterprises can use some technologies like cloud computing, which can save a large amount of space in data centers.
Refresh technologies: To improve data center space efficiency, technologies must be upgraded to minimize power consumption. For instance, new technologies like flywheels can increase the power of the machine, reducing the number of batteries required for the power supply. Besides, replacing the old and inefficient servers with new and energy-efficient servers can improve operational efficiency and reduce power consumption.
Use the smaller-diameter cable: Choosing the right cables is also an essential factor that should be considered. Tangled cables may cause cable congestion and then impede airflow. To prevent data center space from that problem, it's necessary to use cables with smaller diameters, such as FS high-density fiber cables, which are more space-saving. They also allow rack space to be used to accommodate more equipment and reduce the demand for more cable management systems.
Try virtualization solutions: According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, most high-capacity servers are utilized at 15% or less, wasting space and power. Using virtualization technologies can reduce the number of new servers required to replace inefficient servers by sharing workloads among multiple servers, which can maximize data center space utilization.
Improve architecture efficiency: Data center architecture and the way that hardware is deployed have a vital impact on data center space. Terrible deployment may impede energy efficiency and lead to heating problems. Therefore, when planning a new data center, it is important to consider carefully the current design, future servers, and equipment, and how these devices will integrate with each other.
Optimize vertical space: Compared with horizontal data center space, making use of vertical space can increase the capacity and density of the data center without occupying floor space. Traditional racks and cabinets support from 42U to 45U of rack space, while taller racks offer up to 58U of rack space. Besides, it's more efficient to use the space above the rack to patch the racks and cabinets.
Increase cabinet power density: Server racks and cabinets take up a lot of space, so it's essential to make the best use of them. By increasing cabinet power density, the requirements for cabinets will be reduced, thus lessening the occupied floor space. Besides, this can also reduce management equipment and increase companies' return on investment.
Use cooling technologies: Cooling accounts for about half of a data center's entire energy consumption. Since computer room air conditioning (CRAC) and air handling units cannot handle the higher power densities, some companies may use liquid cooling systems, which take up a lot of valuable floor space. Using technologies like hot/cold aisle containment can save data center space to some extent while also maintaining suitable temperatures.
All the methods mentioned above work very well on boosting data center space utilization. The key is to choose a plan that best meets your goals and needs.