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Intelligent Power Management Improves Rack Density

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Intelligent Power Management Improves Rack Density

One of the greatest challenges for data center operators today is the increasing cost of power and cooling as a portion of the total cost of operation. Power and cooling costs in data centers have risen sharply over the past several years—as much as 400 percent in the span of a decade. In many data centers, electricity now represents as much as half of total operating expenses. Of equal concern is capacity. In 2007, IDC found that 40 percent of data center owners said they would exceed power capacity within 12 to 24 months without expansion. Three years later, IDC stated that data center power, cooling, and space problems will continue and even accelerate beyond those earlier projections. Another 39 percent of data center owners say they will exceed cooling capacity in 12 to 24 months. Paradoxically, many data centers lack precise data on their power and cooling usage and the finer controls to make the most of power and cooling resources.

Meanwhile, the need for more computing resources and data handling relentlessly marches on—at an astonishing rate. IDC expects the amount of digital information produced by the world will increase fivefold from 2009 to 2012.6

Many data center owners have a very practical reason for fearing they won’t be able to keep up with this data overload: cost. Data center expansion is expensive. A 2007 IDC Datacenter Trends Survey found that data center construction costs are projected to exceed $1,000 per square foot or $40,000 per rack.

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