Chapter 17. Data Center

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Why is everyone talking about data centers? Data centers comprise a mass of computing (servers/applications), networking, and storage equipment. A data center's purpose is to house and appropriately distribute all the digital information and resources of an organization. The data center is also a treasure chest (a big "X") of inefficiency. It represents a plethora of opportunities to reap the benefits of green IT projects, which makes it one of the first stops when anyone talks about greater network efficiencies.

In very recent years, data centers have grown in density and complexity like no other part of the network. This is due to efforts to consolidate data and centralize systems to achieve overall management and operational efficiencies at the same time that we are seeing more and more information and activities conducted online and translated to the virtual world. Add to that the escalating pace of innovation and the need to quickly adapt to changing business landscapes, and the result is a huge hodgepodge of different equipment hastily deployed to support different projects. All of these factors have combined to bring to the forefront issues around space, power, and cooling that we can anticipate will trickle throughout the network if they are not addressed.

In fact, power and cooling has become the number one problem for the data center, and accounts for ...

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