A recent survey of 200 data center managers across the US and UK reveals that a large proportion of centers take a manual approach to planning and forecasting. Despite its inefficiencies, MS Excel emerges as a popular tool and nearly one in ten resort to walking around a data center with a tape measure. Only just over half are able to benefit from using Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) tools.
The manual approach is not limited to smaller data centers by any means; the proportion was found to remain the same even amongst the larger data centers (with above 1,500 servers).
When asked why manual methods were employed, 46% said it was because they felt that the alternatives would be too expensive. A further 35% feared they lacked the resources to implement a more automated approach. Whilst both these factors may seem reasonable enough at first sight, both might actually represent false economies in the longer run.
forecasting 56% of manual planners need to devote more than 40% of their time, every month, to capacity planning and forecasting. This suggests that some people may be locked in a vicious circle – lacking the time and resource to implement a DCIM tool because so much of their time is being wasted on tasks that a modern DCIM is designed to perform automatically.Cooling efficiency Data centers consume a lot of electricity. In fact, in 2013, US data centers consumed enough electricity to power all the households in New York City twice over. In addition to the cost of powering servers, a significant
NRDC 2013 amount of energy is also required for cooling – enough to make a significant difference to overall costs.We found that 63% were using DCIM analytics to help optimize cooling efficiency. Other methods used included rack sensors and spreadsheets and hot spot audits.Those who weren’t using DCIM analytics were also less likely than their peers to conduct hotspot audits and unlikely to be able to perform CFD simulations. Indeed, 1 in 5 data centers are relying exclusively on rack level thermal sensors and spread sheets to maximize cooling efficiency.