Data Center Handbook
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Data Center Handbook

Hwaiyu Geng

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eBook - ePub

Data Center Handbook

Hwaiyu Geng

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About This Book

Provides the fundamentals, technologies, and best practices in designing, constructing and managing mission critical, energy efficient data centers

Organizations in need of high-speed connectivity and nonstop systems operations depend upon data centers for a range of deployment solutions. A data center is a facility used to house computer systems and associated components, such as telecommunications and storage systems. It generally includes multiple power sources, redundant data communications connections, environmental controls (e.g., air conditioning, fire suppression) and security devices.

With contributions from an international list of experts, The Data Center Handbook instructs readers to:

  • Prepare strategic plan that includes location plan, site selection, roadmap and capacity planning
  • Design and build "green" data centers, with mission critical and energy-efficient infrastructure
  • Apply best practices to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions
  • Apply IT technologies such as cloud and virtualization
  • Manage data centers in order to sustain operations with minimum costs
  • Prepare and practice disaster reovery and business continuity plan

The book imparts essential knowledge needed to implement data center design and construction, apply IT technologies, and continually improve data center operations.

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Part I
Data Center Overview and Strategic Planning

Data Centers—Strategic Planning, Design, Construction, and Operations

Hwaiyu Geng
Amica Association, Palo Alto, CA, USA

1.1 Introduction

In a typical data center, electrical energy is used to operate Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment and its supporting facilities. About 45% of electrical energy is consumed by ICT equipment, which includes servers, storages, and networks. The other 55% of electrical energy is consumed by facilities, which include power distribution system, uninterruptible power supplies, chillers, computer room air conditioners, lights, and so on. Improving power consumption by ICT equipment and facilities is imperative for efficient use of energy. Many studies have proven increasing greenhouse gases due to human activities resulting in global warming.

1.1.1 Data Centers and Global Warming

A study by the journal Science estimates that, from 1992 to 2012, the melting ice from Greenland and Antarctica has raised the global sea level by 11.1 mm (0.43 in.). Rising sea levels have gained more attention from the flooding caused by the superstorm Sandy in 2012 that struck the heavily populated U.S. East Coast.
A report titled Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis [1], prepared by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), set up by the World Meteorological Organization and the UN’s Environment Program, states as follows: “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal. Since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen, and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased”. “The rate of sea level rise since the mid-nineteenth century has been larger than the mean rate during the previous two millennia (high confidence). Over the period 1901–2010, global mean sea level rose by 0.19 [0.17–0.21] m.”
The World Bank issued a report in November 2012, titled Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must be Avoided [2]. The report describes what the world would be like if it warmed by 4°C (7.2°F). “The 4°C world scenarios are devastating: the inundation of coastal cities; increasing risks for food production potentially leading to higher malnutrition rates; many dry regions becoming dryer, wet regions wetter; unprecedented heat waves in many regions, especially in the tropics; substantially exacerbated water scarcity in many region, increase frequency of high-intensity tropical cyclones; and irreversible loss of biodiversity, including coral reef system.”
“The science is unequivocal that humans are the cause of global warming, and major changes are already being observed: global mean warming is 0.8°C above pre-industrial levels; oceans have warmed by 0.09°C since the 1950s and are acidifying; sea levels rose by about 20 cm since pre-industrial times and are now rising at 3.2 cm per decade; an exceptional number of extreme heat waves occurred in the last decade; major food crop growing areas are increasingly affected by drought.”
Human beings generate all kinds of heat from cooking food, manufacturing goods, building houses, passenger and freight transport, and ICT activities. ICT continues as a pervasive force in the global economy, which includes Internet surfing, computing, online purchase, online banking, mobile phone, social networking, medical services, and exascale machine (supercomputer). They all require energy in data centers and give out heat as a result. One watt input to process data results in 1 W of heat output. As a result, all data centers take energy and give out heat. We can’t stop giving out heat, but we can reduce heat output by efficiently managing energy input.

1.1.2 Data Center Definition

The term “data center” means differently to different people. Some of the names used include data center, data hall, data farm, data warehouse, computer room, server room, R&D software lab, high-performance lab, hosting facility, colocation, and so on. The U.S. Environment Protection Agency defines a data center as:
  • “Primarily electronic equipment used for data processing (servers), data storage (storage equipment), and communications (network equipment). Collectively, this equipment processes, stores, and transmits digital information.”
  • “Specialized power conversion and backup equipment to maintain reliable, high-quality power, as well as environmental control equipment to maintain the proper temperature and humidity for the ICT equipment.”
Data centers are involved in every aspect of life running Amazon, AT&T, CIA, Citibank, Disneyworld, eBay, FAA, Facebook, FEMA, FBI, Harvard University, IBM, Mayo Clinic, NASA, NASDAQ, State Farm, U.S. Government, Twitter, Walmart, Yahoo, Zillow, etc. This A–Z list reflects the “basic needs” of food, clothing, shelter, transportation, health care, and social activities that cover the relationships among individuals within a society.
A data center could consume electrical power from 1 to over 500 MW. Regardless of size and purpose (Table 1.1), all data centers serve one purpose, and that is to process information. In this handbook, we use “data center” that refers to all names stated earlier.
Table 1.1 Data center type, server volume, and typical size
Sources: EPA, 2007; CHP in Data Centers, ICF International, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 2009.
Facility typesVolume serversEstimated servers per facilityTypical size in sq. ft. (m2)Estimated number of facilities (in the United States)2006 electric use (billion kWh)
Server closets1,798,0001–2<200 (19)900,000–1,500,0003.5
Server rooms2,120,0003–36<500 (46)50,000–100,0004.3
Localized data center1,820,00036–300<1000 (93)10,000–13,0004.2
Midtier data center1,643,000300–800<5000 (465)2,000–4,0003.7
Enterprise-class data center3,215,000800–2000+5000+ (465+)1,000–2,5008.8

1.1.3 Energy Consumption Trends

“Electricity used in global data centers during 2010 likely accounted for between 1.1 and 1.5% of total electricity use, respectively. For the U.S., that number was between 1.7 and 2.2%” [3].
IDC IVIEW, sponsored by EMC Corporation, stated [4] as follows: “Over the next decade, the number of servers (virtual and physical) worldwide will grow by a factor of 10, the amount of information managed by enterprise data centers will grow by a factor of 50, and the number of files the data center will have to deal with will grow by a factor of 75, at least.”
Gartner estimated [5], “In 2011, it is believed that 1.8 Zettabytes of ...

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