The fall installment of the biannual survey, sponsored by Emerson Network Power, polled members of the Data Center Users’ Group® (DCUG), an association of influential data center, IT and facility managers, and captured input from more than 150 respondents across North America. The questions covered a variety of data center topics including energy efficiency, data center monitoring, capacity constraints, third-party colocation providers and heat and power density.
As with the DCUG spring 2013 survey, the Fall survey results show that energy efficiency, availability and infrastructure monitoring are foremost on the minds of data center professionals. When asked to identify their top three facility/network concerns, 44 percent of respondents cited energy efficiency, making it the leading response to the question for the second time in the last two years for the fall survey. Availability (43 percent) and adequate monitoring and data center management (41 percent) were second and third on the list of top concerns this fall. Data center consolidations (24 percent) continued to be a growing concern, landing at sixth on the list, right behind heat and power density.
“The results of the Fall 2013 survey show that data center managers continue to focus on optimizing efficiency and maintaining or increasing availability to meet growing demands within today’s budget constraints,” said Bob Miller, vice president, global solution sales, Emerson Network Power in North America, and a member of the DCUG board of directors. “As the complexity and criticality of the data center continues to increase, data center professionals are increasingly turning to monitoring and data center infrastructure management (DCIM) tools to provide the greater visibility they need to plan for growth and support changes to the data center without compromising availability, and while ensuring customers’ needs and corporate goals are met.”
The trend toward growth is reflected throughout the survey. While 28 percent reported no limiting factor on their organization’s ability to accommodate growth, 38 percent cited a lack of capital expenditure to either build new facilities or invest in infrastructure systems. When asked about equipment purchases for the next 12 months, 72 percent plan to purchase racks and cabinets, while 63 percent plan to upgrade or purchase monitoring software, and 43 percent and 41 percent plan to purchase cooling and UPS systems, respectively. Forty-one percent reported moving at least part of their operation to colocation or hosting providers.
Additional results include the following:
- Fifty-three percent believe their existing data center capacity will suffice for three years or less.
- Thirty-seven percent reported implementing rooftop air-handlers, while 28 percent have implemented evaporative cooling.
- Fifty-six percent reported already implementing transformer-based UPS, while 21 percent have implemented transformer-free UPS.
- The average power density per rack was 6.3 kW, up slightly from 5.9 kW in the Spring 2013 survey.
- The top operational and efficiency-related metrics being measured in the data center are temperature (88 percent), power utilization (82 percent), humidity (66 percent) and cooling utilization (65 percent). Fifty-six percent of respondents currently measure power usage effectiveness (PUE).
Emerson Network Power uses the data from the DCUG survey to track market issues and inform programming at future DCUG and industry events, such as the DCUG Fall Conference held Nov. 11-14 in Dallas. This landmark 20th DCUG conference, which has been held twice a year since 2003, featured presentations by sixteen experienced users and IT industry experts focused on such topics as data center planning, the changing role of the data center manager, aligning IT and business objectives, strategies in thermal management, and efficiency across the power system.
Founded in 2003, the DCUG is a growing affiliation of approximately 2,000 organizations across North and South America; the group hosts several hundred attendees semi-annually to collaboratively discuss best practices, share experiences and address the most relevant issues affecting the reliability, availability and cost of operation for critical installations. The group’s membership comprises professionals with a wide variety of IT and facilities management expertise.
For more information on the DCUG, visit www.DataCenterug.org.
More at www.EmersonNetworkPower.com.