When I mention the term “efficient,” what does it mean to you? Does it mean no waste or high performance? Must an efficient car have a great MPG rating? Some use cases equate efficiency with sacrifice. It doesn’t have to be that way. Think Tesla!
Within the context of data centers and large-scale IT operations, I believe efficiency is about visibility and control. Visibility to know where you need more network or computing resource. Control to ensure you can provision enough power or cooling resource at the precise time and location to meet the IT need.
In most organizations, IT demands are hard to forecast, placing even more pressure on reaction time for resource allocation. Further complicating the problem, we believe the future utilization of IT services will become more dynamic. We live in an on-demand world, not a constant demand world.
Historically, high resource availability designs relied on overprovisioning (think 2N). But overprovisioning costs a lot and keeping idle capacity warm is wasteful. Under-provisioning is more efficient and cost-effective, but at the risk of lower availability which few IT operators will accept.
In a perfect world, IT utility resources would be pooled at a high level, like a reservoir serving several outlets. Resources would be directed to demand sources with little notice or effort or intervention. Efficiency is achieved via control without sacrificing performance or availability.
In our latest 8 MW deployment with LinkedIn, we’ve done just that. We’ve helped our client align cooling to directly track the IT load at the rack level via rear-door heat exchangers. The unique cooling design, combined with Portland’s climate advantages, make for an ultra-efficient (PUE as low as 1.06) and flexible system to serve a wide range of rack densities (up to 24kW / rack). Power is delivered via higher voltage / higher amperage busway, allowing more flexibility to serve the IT load.
The Uptime Institute recently recognized LinkedIn and Infomart Portland with their prestigious Efficient IT award. Via a collaborative effort, we worked with LinkedIn to provide the control and sustainability to help them achieve this distinction.
What’s so unique about this award? Well, it’s the first time the award has been given where the user and landlord were different parties. Achieving this level of control and efficiency requires alignment on the vision defined goals, and a close working relationship.
Congratulations to LinkedIn on achieving the highest score in the world for Uptime Institute’s Efficient IT certification. And thank you for allowing us to be the partner you trusted with your world-class IT operation.