The last of the three pillars involves applying knowledge of the physical laws, engineering designs, and technological constraints affecting reliable delivery of power and cooling in the facility. Because data centers are constantly changing, and because of the complexity of air and heat flows, it is essential to apply engineering simulation tools to both data center design and operations. That means taking the information from tracking tools and incorporating it into software that simulates airflow, power distribution, and heat transfer.
The best of these tools rely in part on sophisticated Computational Fluid Dynamics software, extensive libraries of the power and airflow characteristics of thousands of different kinds of IT equipment, and visual analyzers to simply and accurately predict the effects of changes in IT deployments. These computer models need to be calibrated with real measurements from a data center to ensure they accurately characterize the facility’s operations, but once calibrated, they can be used to predict the effects of changes in IT equipment configurations on airflow, temperature, efficiency, reliability, available capacity, and cost without having to actually move or install that equipment.
When properly used, such engineering simulation tools are like the headlights of a car, showing clearly what’s on the road ahead. They show the costs and risks of operational plans and are just as important as careful tracking and appropriate procedures for proper management of data center operations.
The three pillars, taken together, constitute the most reliable means of delivering business value from the data center. No modern data center manager should be without them.
Read the full article here: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2016/02/02/three-pillars-modern-data-center-operations/
About the author: Jonathan Koomey is a Research Fellow at the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance at Stanford University and is one of the leading international experts on the energy use and economics of data centers.
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