Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Current industry terms like "massive" or "large-scale" provide little clarification when it comes to determining a facility's actual performance. That's why the Association for Data Center Management and the Data Center Institute have outlined new industry standards in a recently published white paper, "Data Center Size and Density." The DCI's board of directors and consultants from The Strategic Directions Group drafted these new standards to effectively compare facilities by size and density ratings. In addition to promoting more effective regulations, the new standards will improve communication between members of the data center industry.
The need for standardization
AFCOM Chairman Tom Roberts hopes that the new standards will help fill a communication gap between members of the data center industry by setting firm definitions for "size" and "density," according to Virtual Strategy Magazine. According to the DCI standards, size will specifically refer to computer space measured in square footage or meters, while density is used as a measure of the entire data center's peak kW load. The standardization can also help support global expansion by making it easier to compare local and international data center performance.
New data center sizes
The data center performance standards developed by the DCI and AFCOM uses a size metric that separates data centers into six different categories based on rack capacity and square footage, notes Data Center Knowledge. "Mini" data centers make up the smallest category, where the largest data centers utilize up to 10 racks and take up less than 300 square feet of space. On the other side of the scale, "Massive" facilities are over 225,000 square feet in size and boast a rack yield that's over 9000. The DCI's density metric uses four categories ranging from "Low" to "Extreme," separated by the facility's peak load per rack and per computer space.
AFCOM's data center standards recommends that if a facility's performance values do not fit neatly into one of these categories, the data center should assign itself to the category that corresponds with the higher value. These standards would have significant impacts on the data center industry if they were to become universally adopted. Many companies would re-brand their facility's services to play up their rating on the DCI's scale, while data centers on the borderline would invest in space-saving solutions like remote console servers to slide into a more favorable performance category.
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