Uptime Institute Executive Director Pitt Turner wrote a column this month for Mission Critical Magazine, exploring the top challenges facing data center executives over the next five years. Here are his top four:
(1) Tracking and managing total cost of ownershipfor data centers will be one of the top challenges facing data center owners and operators in the coming years. Turner recommends Jonathan Koomey’s 2008 technical research paper, “A Simple Model of True Cost of Ownership” (Download as .pdf») According to him, it provides the most complete methodology to incorporate capital, operating, energy, and other costs necessary to support IT.
(2) Today, operating costs have forced many companies to focus on reducing energy consumption and capital avoidance. EBay, for example, focused on energy efficiency and overall sustainability at its newer site while maintaining high levels of availability. Turner: “Any discussion of future performance would be incomplete without a mention of scalability or modularity. By 2016, wider use of manufactured solutions will be evident. Regardless of how power, space, and cooling requirements will be met, it is clear that most sites will meet the business needs using more building blocks of smaller capacity.”
(3) In the coming five years, data center operators will need to be more aggressive about adopting best practices in order to compete economically. Turner: “The increasing public pressure to reduce energy use comes with emerging regulations for the industry. This unwelcome assistance could be avoided if the industry took the initiative and widely implemented the established opportunities to drive up IT productivity based on work per unit of energy.” Internet companies started that trend, and it will be widely adopted.
(4) Those who do not understand that buildings are part of the IT kit will become significantly disadvantaged. This all amounts to a complete re-engineering of the way data center services and space are delivered.