Mobile Technology in Data Centers: After the Cloud, What Next?

May 30, 2013
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What does the future hold for the data center industry? Yan Ness, Co-CEO of Online Tech, gives his thoughts on how the data center industry will evolve over the next five years and beyond.

One of the most popular data center industry trends is making data centers more energy efficient.  This includes making server equipment more energy efficient, using alternative energy resources, as well as using strategies like free cooling.

What does the future hold for the data center industry? Yan Ness, Co-CEO of Online Tech, gives his thoughts on how the data center industry will evolve over the next five years and beyond.

One of the most popular data center industry trends is making data centers more energy efficient.  This includes making server equipment more energy efficient, using alternative energy resources, as well as using strategies like free cooling.

Ness explains in Let’s Save the Planet by Filling Up the Data Centers that in the next five years the best thing to do is “get the server equipment out of the closet and move into specialty data centers.” This move would have a tremendous impact on the environment since data centers typically incorporate more resources and technology in energy efficient improvements than small to medium companies.

Once everyone has been moved into the cloud and data center efficiencies have been maximized, what will the next step be?  What will the next generation data center look like?

As mentioned in The Next Generation Data Center: How Michigan Data Centers Fit the Bill, predictions for next generation data centers include producing more energy efficient servers.  Stephen J. Bigelow writes in What will the next big data center transformation look like? that server designs are becoming more energy efficient and can operate at higher data center temperatures.

“Next-generation servers will use only a fraction of their total power when idle and actively power off when unneeded,” said John Stanley, senior analyst at the 451 Group.  Servers that used 400 watts of power but still consumed 60% to 70% of power when idle, now uses only 25% to 50% of its total power when idle.

One of the technology advancements that really interest Ness is making servers more efficient by using mobile device technology.  Ness describes how the data center industry is looking at mobile computing devices and bringing that technology to data centers and servers.

“If you hold your phone, it’s actually is quite a powerful device.  It doesn’t get that hot and uses very little power,” says Ness. The mobile industry has invested a lot of time and resources into getting a lot out of mobile device batteries.  For example, servers could slow itself down when it is not in use like cell phones currently do.

“So by bringing some of that mobile technology to servers and data centers, I think we will see a whole new wave of improvements,” says Ness.

However, Ness brings it back full circle and stresses how important it will be to fill the data centers.  If data centers are full, then it would be financially beneficial for the industry to invest in advancing this type of technology.