Data Center Experts Must Build Efficient Bridge To Cloud Computing

Jakob Carnemark, senior vice president at Skanska USA Inc., indicated that businesses operating data centers will need to go beyond traditional practices in order to build economically sound facilities.

“Data center supply chains – like all supply chains – are collapsing around efficiency and speed to market,” said Carnemark, who leads Skanska’s Mission Critical Center of Excellence. “To take advantage, companies need to alter their approaches and move away from the traditional design-bid-build process. It doesn’t make sense to build dynamic computing platforms on top of traditional high-cost, inefficient infrastructure. New solutions can optimize IT and asset utilization by capturing a broad spectrum of information about data center facilities and how they are being used.”

Carnemark added: “If held to a higher standard, our industry can deliver solutions that lower IT costs dramatically from what was previously possible. Viewing the energy performance and utilization of IT equipment can inform decisions about what to build and what is best in a cloud computing environment.

Carnemark recommends the following data center practices that have been proven in the field by his organization:

Hyper efficient pre-fabricated data centers – Skanska has been engaged by a large telecommunications company to deliver modular data centers in a “just in time” manner as critical load is required. “This type of multi-year agreement is the future,” says Carnemark. “Companies want to move away from costly chaos to an efficient, optimized supply chain that is delivered when they need it without going to the high cost of collocation. The goal is to improve IT utilization dramatically and closely couple costs to needs. The resulting data center infrastructure is 40% less expensive than the industry average and 70% more energy efficient.”

Chiller-less designs – With its technology partners, Skanska has developed a pre-fabricated cooling system for high-density racks (up to 40kW/rack) that does not require traditional chillers. This system can be implemented anywhere in North America and achieve extremely low PUEs, typically below 1.2. This system also allows for an extremely responsive performance curve, with a remarkable linear relationship between critical load and cooling energy consumption.

Connecting facility performance with asset utilization – Working with an international financial client, Skanska is developing facility management systems for data centers. This includes linking real-time facility and branch circuit monitoring on the OSIsoft PI platform with static building data, a live BIM model, and the client’s proprietary platform. As a result, the client will have the ability to link application management tools directly to the performance data, delivering a clear picture of how facilities are serving business needs.

“Data center needs are only going to increase,” Carnemark said. “These methods are what can best help companies protect their bottom lines from escalating energy and operational costs.”