Companies categorised under business process outsourcing (BPO) make the largest investments in data centres, according to a recent Frost and Sullivan study.
According to the study, presented by UPS vendor American Power Conversion (APC) in a briefing last week, the IT and IT-enabled services sector accounted for more than 40 percent of data centre investments in 2005, followed by manufacturing and telecommunications segments, respectively.
Surprisingly, the banking and financial services industry, is trailing behind but is nonetheless considered by Frost & Sullivan as among key industries that will drive investments in back-end systems.
Sanjay Singh, director of industrial technologies practice at Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific, said that for these segments investing in data centres, scalability is one important consideration.
“The important considerations in investing in a data centre are scalability, manageability, security, reliability, and support. Scalability has a direct impact on the future cost of expansions of the data centre,” Singh said.
The scalable data centre, as described by Singh, is a “build-as-you-go” data centre. End users can add on modules into existing data centre infrastructure when the demand and need arises. The scalable data centre represents new improvements in data centre technologies.
“It’s better to build a small data centre with higher efficiency than large centres with lowered efficiency. It’s better to build-as-you go, than build then pray that you have enough content to fill the data centre,” Singh said.
The benefits of building a scalable data centre include: allowing for upgrades into more advanced technologies within a shorter time frame; and lowering risk of entire data centre failing due to power outages compared to a centrally controlled data centre.
High-density data centres have arrived with the advent of blade servers. But as system density increases exponentially, so does heat generation. These new generation blade servers consume more power and generate more heat. Back-up power and cooling become essential aspects of data centre planning.
“In the study, 72 percent of the end users think that the loss of services and revenues is the most detrimental impact to their businesses in the event of a power loss. This is not something to be taken lightly so back-up power is crucial,” Singh said.
Equally important as back-up power in data centre planning is cooling. Insufficient cooling may increase potential system meltdown due to high core temperature.
“Cooling translates to potential cost savings in the long run so investments in precision cooling is important,” Singh said.