Over the past 25 years, the design and operation of data centers has seen many changes driven by IT changes and demand. In the 80s the move away from mainframe computing and into networked servers led to raised floors with dedicated UPS and Computer Room Air Conditioning (CRAC) units. In the 90s, explosion of the Internet led to the adoption of availability models and the resulting Tier ratings. Eventually, engineers and operators began questioning energy usage and best practices, which led to a breakaway from the rigid ‘availability, no question’ to the more realistic ’availability, no doubt; but energy too’.
As we came out of the 2000s’ first decade, energy issues dwarfed availability concerns as engineers and operators looked for innovative ways to reduce energy use. Today, we see several forces shaping the future data center. Keywords on everyone’s minds are modular, containers, TCO, time to market, et. But if we truly consider the root drivers, we can single out three forces that are contributing to the shift in delivery of the future data center:
- Energy and regulation
- Infrastructure integration
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