Also crucial for efficiency are location, density or space, performance, quality and reliability, cooling, weight, utilization, quality of service, and infrastructure management.
The pandemic has boosted digital transformation, even involving data centers around the world. Amidst the growing challenges of data management, the surge in the cloud, diverse workloads, and current applications, Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), the acquisition cost is only a part, remains one element. of criticality
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The Elements To Consider For An Efficient Data Center
The efficiency and effectiveness with which companies manage data and data centers determine their success and competitiveness in the market. From my privileged observatory, working alongside the most crucial search engines and the largest companies in the field of e-commerce, social media, cloud computing, on a global level, it emerges that:
- Above all, it is essential to have the capacity to scale to be successful in the market;
- TCO influences almost all decisions;
- Achieving the lowest possible TCO levels allows you to increase revenue, services, and innovation.
Expenditure is not the only element to consider: the acquisition cost represents only a part of the TCO that encompasses many other aspects, such as location, density or space, performance, quality and reliability, cooling, weight, usage, QoS, infrastructure management, and more. And these can vary widely depending on the type of data center.
There is no single approach to TCO, and it is impossible to identify a scale of importance. However, central cloud and data center customers have highlighted a few things to consider.
Data Center Cost: Don’t Underestimate The Impact Of Energy
One way to save on storage energy costs is to use hard drives filled with helium instead of air which, at one-seventh the density, offers more excellent stability within the industry, along with other benefits, including the ability to insert more spinning discs in the same 3.5-inch form factor, less drag on spinning discs, and ultimately less power. Let’s compare the 18 TB hard drives filled with helium with the 10 TB ones filled with air. The former (which already offers 80% more capacity, optimizing space in the racks) allows us to achieve greater energy efficiency with 30% lower operating power and 61% reduction in watts per TB.
Making The Most Of Space
Many hyper-scale data centers are moving to cooler climates or larger spaces to achieve the full benefits of TCO. Not everyone can physically move the data center, but, in any case, taxes on storage slots and rental costs should be top priorities, considering the high cost of current real estate.
The storage slot tax is a critical TCO factor for cloud, on-premise, and data center colocation and includes several elements, such as the cost of the chassis, rack, power supplies, and networking; in some cases, it involves the entire infrastructure needed to adopt a storage device and make it accessible in the data center.
In data center colocation cases, the slot tax can be significant – you can get a particular space with a certain amount of power. As a result, in an infrastructure that consumes too much energy, it may be necessary to rent additional space (which is not needed) simply because another power outlet is required.
Getting storage with the highest possible capacity is also essential. Otherwise, you risk adding more later, whether it’s multiple storage subsystems, multiple racks, or multiple servers. Subsequent integrations increase the operating costs of each device, along with the introduction of more points of failure, which could reduce reliability and impact SLAs.
Get The Most Out Of Your Data Infrastructure
Current workloads, grown and diversified, impact data access and management. To optimize TCO, you can choose between adding more servers and infrastructure using traditional approaches or modernizing your infrastructure to maximize storage capacity and performance more efficiently and effectively by embracing new architectures.
The Zoned Storage Initiative is one of them: an open-source, standards-based initiative that gives developers and system architects the tools and resources to intelligently place data on both drives, HDDs, and SSDs, and optimize them for better performance, shorter latency, predictable quality of service, and most importantly, higher densities and lower TCO.
Another way to optimize resources is to adopt a shared model for composing compute, network, and storage resources. Composable Disaggregated Infrastructure ( CDI) gives data center architects the flexibility to write what they need, starting with a shared pool of resources to support a specific workload—knowing how to obtain resources immediately and as required means being agile and avoiding unnecessary costs to keep up with change and optimize IT resources. NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF) serves as a launchpad for this model as it allows IT to compose, orchestrate and share flash over fabrics storage.
It is essential to align the performance and capacity of the storage system with the workload and its specific requirements for bandwidth, latency, and data availability. For example, if an organization wants to get more value from AI, the storage system should be designed to support the increased performance and scale requirements of analytics workloads.
Knowing how to understand the workloads today and in the future and investing in a good mix of storage systems based on HDD and SSD drives will allow you to achieve maximum levels of optimization and the best overall TCO.
What has worked in the past may no longer be enough – now is the time to consider new technologies and innovative architectures.
Cost Of The Data Center: There Is No One-Size-Fits-All Solution
TCO is complex and, as we have seen, requires the analysis of many factors and management and maintenance costs. Alongside optimizing the data center to meet current and future needs, other elements need to be considered as well, including space, density, performance, quality and reliability, cooling, weight, utilization, QoS, infrastructure management to create a more efficient and effective data infrastructure with the lowest possible TCO.
Adopting a strategy to reduce TCO can help grow in the future and maintain a good level of competitiveness in the market. TCO is key to improving efficiency and can help generate value; its optimization frees up resources that can stimulate business development.