Wednesday, November 21, 2007

DataCentre Design & Build

I went to a very good lecture at my institute last night - here are some of the things that struck me;

  • UK data-centres currently consume about 4% of the electricity generated in this country. This is set to rise to 7% by 2010 and then about one percent per year on current rates of growth.
  • If you look at a kW-hour as generated and measure how much of that makes it to the processor you see that there are modest losses in transmission and sub-stations, but by the gates of the data-centre you still have 80%. However, once you've gone through distribution and (particularly) UPSes and then the mass-market PSUs that most servers still ship with you are down to about 10% of original power by the time you get to the motherboard.
  • Virtualisation hasn't yet penetrated into UK data-centres as much as it should have - this is particularly important because the average server is typically consuming only 15% of processor cycles. I did write about VM Ware previously.
  • Having spent time at VNSL's data-centre in Stratford a few days recently I've been thinking about efficiently those guys do cooling and power-distribution - see previous post here.

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