Blade Servers, Cooling, and Bandwidth

In the day of blade center deployments and high-density servers, it is critical to remember the key component of heat removal and bandwidth requirements.  A common occurrence is that data center managers often sink investments into expensive server technology, without preparing the proper time and costs associated with the corresponding cooling and bandwidth needs.  With every server manufacturer offering more kW in a smaller footprint through their latest technology, they do not equally discuss the major shift in infrastructure you must consider to properly cool your expensive new deployment.  There are options, and you need to make sure you prepare your infrastructure to allow for the changes.  It is time to start looking at the upgrade of both your cooling infrastructure and your bandwidth capabilities to match the needs of the servers.

While the new servers cut down on footprint, they do increase the amount of heat output in a smaller area.  This increase in heat density can lend to problems of hot spots or overheating equipment.  How will you prepare your infrastructure to properly remove the added heat?  It is more critical to the functionality of your data center to efficiently remove the heat than it is to turning your room into a large freezer.  Through proper infrastructure planning and consideration of new cooling technology, you will be able to start concentrating on the importance of heat removal and turning your data center into an efficient part of your business.  Traditional perimeter cooling units no longer can effectively handle high density loads in smaller footprints It is time to start looking at InRow technology for your cooling needs.  This technology, offered by both APC and Liebert, places the cooling units directly next to the server racks themselves.  This promotes less air mixing, scalability, and efficient heat removal.

Let us not forget that by adding additional server processing equipment into your data center may require additional bandwidth to handle the extra growth.  It is often a misconception that adding additional bandwidth will cause unmanageable cost increases.  This is not the case in the day of mass fiber build outs and technology such as Ethernet over copper.  More now than ever, faster speeds do not translate into higher costs.  There are multiple, reliable local and national providers that can handle the growing need for more bandwidth, and they are ready to bid on your business.  Whether you need to increase bandwidth speeds in the data center itself, or between multiple offices, there are solutions at your fingertips that will make your business run more efficiently at lower costs.

So, if you are adding a new deployment of blade servers, or outfitting your data center with high density zones, you must remember to keep up with your cooling and bandwidth needs.  Through proper planning, you will stay in front of the curve and not be struggling to put the horse back in front of the cart.   Proper cooling techniques and products are on the market and ready for exploration.  High cost bandwidth is a thing of the past, and it is time for your organization to take advantage of your new server deployment.