Tech Insight: Gordon Makryllos, Eaton
Thursday, 05 January, 2017
What’s the next big disruptive play in technology and what impact it will have?
Large numbers of businesses are tapping into public and private clouds today, and even greater numbers will join them in coming years. However, cloud computing subjects data centres to significant new pressures. Cloud infrastructures make extensive use of virtualisation and higher powered servers, such as blade servers, technologies that dramatically increase rack-level power and cooling requirements. Moreover, cloud data centres tend to be dynamic environments in which virtualised workloads migrate freely among physical hosts. This increases IT agility but can also result in blown circuits and other electrical problems that lead to service outages.
To master these challenges, organisations should adopt technologies and techniques that increase the reliability and redundancy of their physical and virtual environments, including power and cooling systems. These can range from modular power components and passive cooling schemes to data replication solutions and live migration software, as well as proper monitoring and control. Together with hybrid cloud infrastructures, such tools and strategies can help companies enjoy the power of cloud computing reliably and cost-effectively.
What will be the biggest growth opportunities for your customers in 2017, and why?
What with growing competition, rising customer expectations and the mission-critical nature of systems in business, ‘downtime’ is not an option for our customers. Customers want greater visibility of their entire IT infrastructure, expect information to be made available in real time, need enough uptime to implement contingency plans and want information on total power consumed by individual devices in a single interface. As a result, we’re seeing a requirement for power management software, which allows data centres to control their energy usage during peak demand periods to lower their utility power costs.
There’s also increasing use of central, real-time management software being used to monitor more and more individual equipment energy consumption, so cost can be allocated within business units or billed more accurately to data centre clients.
What innovative technologies do you see emerging in 2017, and how will they help your customers?
We’re now seeing robust demand for best-of-breed power and cooling systems that maximise capacity, minimise waste and allow users to dramatically raise the capacity, scalability and durability of their systems while lowering operating costs, and enabling them to take advantage of today’s most important new technologies.
Our service provider customers are also now working with us to integrate new power management products into legacy data centres as the cost-saving benefits of a modern power management system outweigh the integration cost. From a wider market perspective, in the next five years we expect power management software will start to be integrated with energy authority control systems paving the way for a ‘smart grid’ where facilities can consume as well as generate energy.
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