Data-centre crisis looming, says ARI

18 Dec 2007

A shortage of new data centres in years to come could lead to overloading and possible failure of existing centres, the Aperture Research Institute (ARI) has predicted.

ARI surveyed 100 companies with 600 data centres worldwide. It found that 38pc of data centres were built over four years ago.

Almost two thirds (64pc) of organisations polled said they were not planning or building new data centres, while the remaining 36pc said they were preparing new data centres to meet demand for scaling with their operations.

ARI has criticised what it called a lack of foresight on the part of these organisations. It pointed out that current facilities struggle to cope with the intense power and cooling demands of modern hardware such as high-density blade servers and virtualisation technologies.

“The average time required to plan and build a new data centre is typically three or more years, which leads us to a worrying conclusion about the future of data centres and the impact of this lack of foresight,” said Steve Yellen, principal, ARI.

“Data-centre managers are already facing day-to-day challenges on managing increasingly complex technologies in old facilities. Installing state-of-the-art equipment in an aging facility will limit the benefits that can be delivered by the new technology and, in some cases, will overload the infrastructure to the point of failure.”

Nearly nine out of 10 (87pc) of data centres have invested in blade servers, despite the pressure high-density computing puts on aging data centres.

Of the survey respondents that were building a data centre, 26pc were anticipating a build time of between two and three years before the centre would go live, while 15pc had planned more than three years for builds.

By Niall Byrne