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June 14, 2010

New Paper Addresses Data Center Evolution

By Marisa Torrieri, TMCnet Editor

As going green and cutting costs are top priorities at most leading enterprises, the smart data center movement is enjoying a lot of attention.
Jeff Hudgins, VP of marketing at Canton, Mass.-based NEI, spoke to TMCnet about company's most recent white paper "End-to-End DC Data Center Technologies Come of Age" - and how NEI is addressing the issue with its E-2710 data center optimized appliance.
According to Hudgins, "energy used by U.S. servers and data centers - including the power and cooling infrastructure that supported them - doubled from 2000 to 2006."
The full Q&A follows.
TMCnet: NEI's most recent white paper states that "energy consumption by data centers has taken center stage in recent years, particularly as the economy has forced enterprises to become more power, performance and cost efficient." How much energy do data centers typically consume, and why is this potentially a waste of resources?
JH: The energy used by U.S. servers and data centers (including the power and cooling infrastructure that supported them) doubled from 2000 to 2006. It is speculated to have doubled again since then. New studies suggest that its "fuel" (i.e., Internet traffic) may quadruple by 2014. And the tepid economy is forcing companies of all sizes to rethink their data center strategy, trim IT costs and use technologies that bear greater energy efficiencies.
TMCnet: The paper states "Among the many green technologies undergoing rapid development is a smart end-to-end DC (Direct Current) power architecture that converts Alternating Current (AC) utility power to DC further upstream inside the data center." Why has this idea caught on?
JH: DC is more power-efficient for data center signal processing equipment, including telecom servers and other network IT solutions, as well as for routing via power distribution systems.
TMCnet: What is NEI doing with this technology?
JH: The E-2710 is our DC data center optimized appliance, meaning it's ready-made for DC environments and purpose-built for the application it will host.
TMCnet: Why now?
JH: Dell (News - Alert) customers are demanding lower-power (more efficient) server solutions. The E-2710 fulfills that demand in a Dell PowerEdge form factor.
TMCnet: What kind of an investment does the technology entail?
JH: There is no significant cost increase to purchase a DC server like the E-2710 since it looks and operates as any AC device would. On the infrastructure side there is a larger capital equipment buy to consider, but the energy savings from just few operational months could offset those costs depending on the size of the data center. The ROI is what most data center managers will calculate. The paper describes this in more detail.

Marisa Torrieri is a TMCnet Web editor, covering IP hardware and mobility, including IP phones, smartphones, fixed-mobile convergence and satellite technology. She also compiles and regularly contributes to TMCnet's gadgets and satellite e-Newsletters. To read more of Marisa's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Marisa Torrieri

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