Cloud & Virtualization paving the way for intelligent data centers : It's a well known fact that the future of data center lies in two disruptive technologies - Virtualization and Cloud Computing. As the trend of going cloud is catching up fast, all the companies from sectors such as Government, BFSI, Manufacturing, Retail/eCommerce, Healthcare etc are willing to adopt public cloud hosted from local data centers, specially the small and medium ones. This reflects in the projection of cloud growth at a CAGR of 32% over the years 2013-2018 (source: Data Quest India).
In the coming years, Indian enterprises are going to focus on building intelligent data centers. With that, the industry is faced with two challenges - optimization and efficiency on the front of both capacity utilization and power consumption of a Data Center.
Varying power consumption goes hand-in-hand with flexible business models: Flexibility is a key driver. Data Centers need flexibility to cater to varying power and compute requirements. Business models are changing with the penetration of cloud into captive data centers segment in the form of SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, and hybrid cloud etc. Third party data centers cater to varied customers with completely different load patterns. In the same data center facility, there can be a varying range of high power-density and low power-density zones of racks, depending upon the usage of the servers. Power density per cabinet is constantly increasing from 3-4 KW a few years ago to 9-15 KW and beyond. The Data Centers should be equipped to adjust to changing needs quickly. Such a trend throws huge challenge on the availability of power without compromising the efficiency.
The Market Expectation from Rack-PDU: The Rack-PDU is expected to deliver performance and flexibility. Reducing IT energy consumption by gaining visibility and monitoring capabilities down to the outlet level proactively is going to become a norm in the data center industry. The C-level management is keen towards technologies which can help them turn a real-time data into actionable information and thereby reducing the TCO. As the criticalities of data center infrastructure management grows with changing business models and customer experience, the CIOs are preferring solutions that are easy to manage, and promise 24/7 responsiveness.
With growing demand for remote control, remote switching, enterprise reporting, and monitoring capabilities, the new-age smart PDUs are expected to have added features that can provide the required insight. High power rated smart Rack-PDUs are becoming the norm amidst current market trend. At the same time, desired efficiency calls for the design considerations at Rack-PDU level.
Customisation is the way out…A flexibility in Rack-PDU design & manufacturing through customisation capability can, in-turn, enable the data center operators for a flexible power provisioning, capacity planning and remote control as per the demand. Typically, a smart PDU provides monitoring of voltage, amperage, power and energy at the input and branch circuit levels with threshold and notification capabilities. The manufacturer are expected to provide their support on various levels of customisation:
- Handling IT Capacity with varying power density through appropriate input circuit and adequate outlet type
- To minimise nuisance tripping and downtime with customised branch over-current protection
- Varying degree of ambient temperature rating for a reliable operation within hot aisles
- Appropriate functionality design to monitor at the rack- or device-level
- Continual monitoring
The extent of customisation should enable the PDU to operate at higher voltage, say 440V, as against the traditional 250V, which in-turn would allow lower amperage circuits, and hence scope for using smaller conductors to deliver more power. The Rack-PDU manufacturers’ ability to customise in line with the customer’s requirement is going to play a crucial role in developing a strong competitive advantage.
Manufacturing locally can provide an edge: The rack-PDU manufacturers having design and manufacturing base in India can definitely have an edge over those who rely on importing their products, when it comes to dealing with fast customisation and delivery support to cater to the local market requirement in India. Local manufacturers having the option to localise the process, such as localising sourcing of the parts can help them minimise the cost.
On this front, Elcom International, a Mumbai headquartered and having factory in Kolhapur, has set a benchmark in domestic manufacturing of smart-Rack-PDU for next-gen data centers. Elcom has indigenously developed Innovative, High Quality, Cost Effective, Secure Smart Solutions for Power monitoring and Distribution to the Servers in data centers and other IT facilities. Elcom has managed to leverage its core competence in Electro-mechanical & Electrical (EME) components. They have successfully installed more than two thousand PDUs in Data Centers in India.