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18 Jan 2022
Data Center Trends to Keep an Eye on in 2022
Its January, which means its that time of the year where IT organizations dust off their crystal ball and attempt to make grand predictions about which technology or solution is set to take the industry by storm. While no one at datacenters.com has the gift of precognition, we are constantly tracking the trends that matter most to our users. After reviewing the analytics for 2021, we have a pretty solid understanding of the solutions and technologies that were in most demand and which niche products surged late in the year, perhaps signaling an area of growth in the year to come if trends continue.Weve identified several themes that are set to play a large role in the direction the data center industry takes in 2022. Many of the themes deal with similar issue. The underlying theme of many of the trends deal with handling growth and how to scale efficiently. Below is a high level breakdown of each theme set to dominate the industry this year. Well spend more time throughout the year digging into each one in more detail.Automation in the Data CenterData centers have long been highly automated environments. The digital transformation has led to the proliferation of environmental sensors in racks and servers which allow organizations to track many critical aspects of their infrastructure utilizing software. This philosophy has expanded beyond typical infrastructure management to include automation solutions that integrate artificial intelligence.Data center automation allows for the routine day to day activities of a facility to be completely managed and executed without humans. These tasks include scheduling, monitoring, general maintenance, and application delivery. These solutions allow for the data center management team to focus more of their attention and time on mission critical tasks. Solutions that allow data center operators to focus on client facing activities will continue to be in high demand throughout the year.AI Becomes More WidespreadArtificial Intelligence is one of the primary tools in facility automation as it holds a great deal of promise for automating infrastructure so that it requires less human touch to remain functional. The end game is creating an environment where data center workers are deeply integrated with technology automation, each making the others job easier, as opposed to the technology replacing the worker.Google has utilized AI to assist with managing the cooling systems in their data centers, allowing for real time updates on changes in weather or workloads so that the system can allocate resources to particular areas of the facility as needed. AI is also commonly used to monitor emergency backup generators by examining the machinery at a microscopic level with sound and video, sending alerts to human staff when a defect or change in functioning is detected. Based on our interactions with data center providers this past year, machine learning software which focuses on maximizing the efficiency of a data centers hardware will remain a point of emphasis.MA Deals Will Continue to Shatter RecordsPrivate Equity Firms are taking over the data center market. The last few years have all shown the same thing in regards to data center investment: the market is being bought up by firms forming joint ventures with some of the largest publicly traded data center providersin the world.The last year continued to show us that private equity firms view data centers as one of the best ways to make money. The underlying strategy theyve had in most of these groundbreaking deals is to pump funding into existing data center providers so that the acquired company can increase their market share, thus creating a healthy ROI for investors. We can expect the valuations of these types of funding deals and acquisitions to increase over time as data center services become more and more essential.Multicloud Solutions Gain PopularityMulti-cloud systems are becoming increasingly popular, and this trend shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.As organizations try to accommodate the cloud infrastructure of the companies they buy, multicloud may not be a strategy but rather a predicament in which an organization has found itself in. This issue is a regular occurrence following the merging of two companies whose differing cloud environments inadvertently create a multi vendor cloud strategy overnight. One organization may utilize Amazon web services while the other has Google Cloud, and just like that the main goal of the IT department shifts to bridging the gap between these two services.Whatever brought an organization from a single cloud provider to multiple clouds, the prevalence of cloud providers, and the proprietary software that comes along with it, will mean that more and more organizations will have to integrate a multicloud solution into their IT budget.Marketplace Adoption Reaches New HeightseCommerce has become a vital part of our collective buying habits throughout the last two decades. Enterprises can leverage these new habits by utilizing an eCommerce platform and strategy that allows customers to shop how and when they want.This is especially true for enterprise IT management teams who typically have a lot on their plate. Given the technology available to organizations today, theres no reason a client shouldnt be able to find pricing and procure colocation space or cloud storage resources at the click of a button and on their own time. If a business can provide this option for its consumers, they will appeal to a broader array of clients who are all looking for a convenient and flexible experience.As the market increasingly shifts to the digital marketplace, building a solid eCommerce platform can give organizations the ability to remain relevant in a shifting market. Whether its purchasing colocation or cloud solutions, IT decision makers are no different than an other consumer in that they want to see transparent pricing available for solutions that can be purchased with the click of a button.
14 Dec 2021
How New Green Technologies Enable Sustainable Data Centers
Data centers globally are leading the charge in green technology adoption. According to a recent survey, 43% of multi-tenant data centers have sustainability initiatives in place. Green data centers combine cutting-edge technologies for maximum energy efficiency and minimum environmental impact.Why are Green Technologies Important for Data Centers?Today, climate change and environmental degradation threaten livelihoods globally. Going green is no longer another optional buzzword for brand building but a crucial component in business. New green technologies can help traditional data centers become more energy-efficient and sustainable. The ever-increasing number of eco-conscious businesses provides a ready market for green data center operators. Helping companies reduce their carbon footprint is a profitable venture. Best of all, going green is an effective way to cut operation costs.What are the Top 5 New Technologies for Green Data Centers?The ever-increasing data demands in businesses prompted data center operators to rethink their sustainability initiatives. Service providers use innovative technologies to build sustainable data centers.Server VirtualizationDatacenter infrastructure is directly correlated to energy consumption. With Software-Defined Data Centers (SDDCs), you can reduce infrastructure burdens and boost energy efficiency. SDDCs use virtualized servers and house multiple users per server. This model allows operators to segment their servers and parcel out data storage and processing power on an as-required basis.IT teams can manage SDDCs remotely via virtual machines, reducing travel to and from the site. Remote management also eliminates the need for on-site IT experts. So, SDDCs dont waste energy on operating temperature and lighting. All these elements of virtualization reduce data centers energy footprint. Leading data center operators like Google, Microsoft, Intel, and Oracle have seen substantial reductions in energy consumption using server virtualization.AI and intelligent monitoringInnovative data center operators use sophisticated Artificial Intelligence (AI) programs to optimize performance and improve energy efficiency by reducing power consumption. AI-powered predictive analytics connects different processes, providing a clear picture of the health of all components. With intelligent monitoring, facility managers can anticipate threats and schedule timely repairs. AI also facilitates remote management, automated processes, and sustainable energy solutions for data centers. For example, Atos and HDF Energy partnered to develop hardware, software, and integration services powered by green hydrogen. This solution will use AI to predict data centers energy consumption needs and optimize these facilities to green hydrogen. AI plays a mission-critical role in ensuring data centers are energy efficient and sustainable.Edge Computing and IoTCentralized data processing efficiency and connected devices have a direct correlation. To boost energy efficiency, use edge computing with IoT. Edge computing leverages the processing power of connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices. So, your data center can process and store data closer to users. Running apps at the edge reduces latency and the amount of data traversing the network. It is energy-efficient and improves performance and user experience. Today, AWS and American Tower use edge computing to reduce their carbon footprint.Hybrid cloud deploymentsTraditionally, businesses moved from on-prem data centers to cloud-hosted servers to reduce their carbon footprint. Hybrid cloud deployments combine data centers and the cloud. Container-based hybrid cloud platforms like Google Anthos leverage Kubernetes to decouple applications from the underlying infrastructure. So, service providers can move workloads between the public cloud and physical data centers for different processing requirements. With a hybrid cloud architecture, you can manage resources across virtual and on-prem servers in a unified manner. This flexibility allows your business to exploit green initiatives adopted by multiple vendors. Combining the best of both worlds can help reduce your companys energy consumption.Ultra-efficient cooling systemsServers and cooling systems account for the lions share of energy usage in data centers. So, using ultra-efficient cooling systemsis an effective way to make data centers greener and sustainable. Some data centers use energy-efficient free-cooling technologies and liquid cooling designs. For example, new two-phase liquid immersion cooling platforms deliver unparalleled densities for high-performance computing (HPC) applications. These integrated solutions can be deployed in virtually any environment. So, service providers can set up data centers close to end-users.Wrapping UpGreen data centers are the future. With 21st-century disruptive technologies, service providers can build eco-friendly and energy efficient data centers. Combine server virtualization, AI, edge computing and IoT, hybrid deployments, and ultra-efficient cooling systems to maximize energy efficiency and minimize environmental impact. Going green is not just responsible, its profitable.
9 Dec 2021
Building a Better Cloud Center of Excellence
By leveraging the vast capabilities of todays cloud, an exciting new era of scalability, agility, and redundancy has emerged for future forward enterprises. The journey to the cloud is exciting but can be daunting. Transitioning hardware and support requirements from your own legacy data center is not a simple task. There are typically many blockers beyond legacy infrastructure. Legacy mindsets can lead to a resistance to change. What about hardware sunk costs and business processes built around on-prem deployments?Many organizations are considering cloud strategies due to the many advantages available with cloud computing including the following:Be more competitive through more agile and distributed developmentInfrastructure as Code enhances scalability, elasticity, and future growthSave money by taking advantage of efficient cloud native architecturesOPEX model instead of CAPEXSharper focus on differentiators in the marketplaceLatest hardware without having to deal with cycling hardwareDisaster recovery solutionsFor future forward organizations making the leap from on-prem to the cloud, the most valuable tool to transform is having a cloud center of excellence (CCOE) team backed by company leadership. By building a cross-functional team of people responsible for developing and managing the cloud strategy, the entire organization is vested in a unified cloud strategy, governance, and best practices for cloud adoption, migration, and operations. A CCOE has been proven to be a critical component of a successful digital transformation.The CCOE team can offer these key advantages to an organization:Allows for a decentralized organization to maintain a common cloud visionOffers centralized shared services that many departments can use without reinventing the wheelEnables innovators to move quickly while creating guard rails that align with the companies security, regulatory, and budgetary requirementsCentral evangelists can accelerate use of and benefit from the cloudA CCOE team will help evangelize and guide the journey to the cloud for an organization. The exact make up of the CCOE team typically varies depending on the company dynamics and organization. At some companies, the CCOE team may just be architects who provide best practices and cloud deployment guidelines while the majority of the work is decentralized across the organization. At other companies, the CCOE team may be the advisors, architects, developers of shared services, and assistants to actual migrations.Steps to help your companys cloud initiative succeed with a Cloud Center of ExcellenceBuild a team of savvy cloud architects and devops engineersThis team may be only a couple people at a smaller company or could easily be much larger at larger organizations. With a common vision, this team works together to deliver various solutions. At the initial cloud adoption stage, not all company departments agree on the plan to migrate to the cloud. The CCOE team will provide the unified leadership necessary to get buy-in from the larger organization to make cloud migrations successful.By guiding the organization to a cloud service provider or providers the CCOE can establish a common design and development strategy upfront. This common vision delivered by the CCOE team coupled with a DevOps methodology will drive the success of cloud solutions.Get a Win!The hardest part of moving to the cloud or designing infrastructure agnostic applications is typically getting out of the gate. It is always a good strategy to find a smaller workload that can be deployed to the cloud for a quick win. The key here is to show the advantages of the cloud with this workload and use it as a stepping stone for the rest of the cloud migration initiative. Typically, the CCOE team generously helps with all of the steps for the first win to ensure it all goes smoothly.Evangelize your successBased upon the particular charter of your organization for cloud usage, evangelize your success and use it as a proof point for how the cloud can help other business units improve their infrastructure. Utilize your executive support to gain support among the other teams if needed. Demonstrate the value of the cloud to business leaders across your organisation. Show them how the cloud and hybrid designs can help the team work smarter and be more effective.Prepare for future successOnce the team has some traction to move forward, the CCOE team should ensure all the pieces are in place, whether they do it themselves or they assist a more distributed solution. It is important that the cloud strategy is well-documented and reference architectures are built. Preferred tools should be specified. Reusable code should be created to help with deployments and migrations. Foghorn often helps customers accelerate this step by providing our expertise with reference architectures for the cloud providers and access to our deep library of Fogsource℠ terraform modules.Provide leadership and evangelize the solutionOnce the organization is prepared with a strategy, tools, code and executive support, it is time to expand. We have seen this happen in a variety of ways. Sometimes the best strategy is to use your executive sponsor to sell the solution to all of the executives. In other cases, it is better to advertise the cloud initiative with more of a grassroots strategy where you sell the solution to key business units and leverage their authority to sell the solution to their executives. Either way, the goal of the CCOE team is to provide leadership, guidance, and support to ensure the cloud initiative succeeds.The hardest part of a companys transformation to a cloud-first or infrastructure agnostic strategy can be convincing departments that are resistant to change and are tied to legacy and status quo architectures and processes. The CCOE team must have a well-thought out strategy and be able to explain the advantages of utilizing the public cloud and hybrid architectures. They must be able to explain why the cloud-first strategy will help the organization and their customers.Utilize your executive sponsor and/or external consultants to sell your solution. From my experience, the hardest part of delivering a solution is convincing all parties involved to work together for a common goal. Once that is achieved, the technology usually falls into place with everyone pitching in to deliver success. Success begets success.Foghorn, an Evoque company, can help build your CCOE for a better cloud and hybrid cloudWith multi-tenant data centers across the USA, Evoque recently acquired cloud engineering experts Foghorn to help their customers accelerate innovation in the cloud, colocation or both.Over the past fifteen years, AWS Premier Tier, Azure Gold and GCP partners Foghorn have helped drive cloud initiatives that scale at the pace of business. Their experts have seen first hand that cloud transformations need good leadership to be successful. Foghorns FogOps Team approach augments internal CloudOps and IT teams and to help build a CCOE to help deliver on the promise of the cloud and hybrid cloud.
7 Dec 2021
How To Calculate and Convert Power for Bitcoin Mining Rigs
When Cryptocurreny is traded, computers scattered across the globe race to complete a computation that creates a 64 digit hexadecimal number for that particular bitcoin. This number is then placed on a public ledger so anyone can confirm the transactions for that bitcoin. The computer that completes the computation first gets rewarded with 6.2 bitcoin, or about $225,000 based on current prices.This, in a nutshell, is the crypto mining industry. Its a race to be first. With such large computations that need to be completed, and quickly, the amount of power and processing speed needed to win is ever increasing. Graphic cards on crypto rigs dont get days off. They run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.Having a successful crypto mining operation requires having a solid understanding of the amount of power you have available for your rigs and ensuring that your power costs dont become too big of an overhead. In this article, well review how to convert and calculate power for your crypto miners so that you can get a sense of what your monthly costs would be.Converting Kilowatts (kW) and Watts (W)A kilowatt (kW) is a standard measurement of power for any electrical device. Most of the time we measure our electronics in watts (W). However, when you go over a certain number of watts its easier to use kilowatts. Because a kilowatt is equal to 1,000 watts you can simply say that it is 1 kilowatt or 1 kW. To calculate kW and W simply divide or multiply by 1,000.2 kW = 2,000 W (2 kW x 1,000 = 2,000 W)2,000 W = 2 kW (2,000 W / 1,000 = 2 kW)Converting kilowatts and Megawatts (MW)Megawatts, kilowatts and watts are all divisible by 1,000. A megawatt is equal to 1,000 kilowatts and 1,000,000 watts. Heres how it works. To get the number of megawatts from kilowatts you will want to divide by 1,000 just like in the examples above. To get the number of kilowatts from megawatts you will want to multiply by 1,000.2 MW = 2,000 kW (2 MW x 1,000 = 2,000 kW)2,000 kW = 2 MW (2,000 kW / 1,000 = 2 MW)2 MW = 2,000,000 W (2 MW x 1,000,000 = 2,000,000 W)2,000,000 W = 2 MW (2,000,000 W / 1,000,000 = 2 MW)Calculating kilowatt Hours (kWh)As you can see, its easy to go back and forth from kilowatts to watts. But what about kilowatt hours (kWh)? Kilowatt hoursis a little more complex because it involves both power and time. There are several factors to consider but follow these steps to get your kWh.Find the wattage on your mining rigMultiply wattage by hours used each day. (24 hours)Divide by 1,000 (watts to kilowatts)Multiply by number of days (30 days)Bitmain Antminer S9 Example1,323 Watts1,323 Watts x 24 Hours = 31,75231,752 / 1,000 = 31.752 kWh per day31.752 kWh per day x 30 days = 952.56 kWh per monthMonthly Cost of Electricity (kWh x Per/ kWh)To calculate this, you will have to get your cost per kWh from the utility company or from your last statement. It can be hard to figure out the actual cost per kWh because of tiers, fees, taxes and so forth. It may be helpful to contact your utility company to get a better idea of the cost per kWh.Simply multiply your kWh figure from above with your cost per kWh from your utility company.Example: .0678 cents per kWh952.56 kWh per month952.56 kWh per month x .0678 cents per kWh = $64.58It will cost you approximately 64.58 cents per Bitmain Antminer S9 in electricity at a cost of .0678 cents per kWh.Monthly Price Per kW to Price Per Mining RigAnother common question is what does the kilowatt cost per month equal per mining rig? To calculate this, you will simply get the cost per kW from the datacenter or mining farm. Typically, prices range from $80-$140 per kW per month. This includes the space, power, internet, cooling and security.You will want to get your cost per kW per month. Next, you will want to calculate your total power demand. This should include your load factor of 80% if you are in the United States. This is a requirement among most data centers and mining farms anyway. For safety, it should also apply to at home use and commercial buildings.Determine total power demand in wattsMultiply total power demand in watts x load factor (80% or 1.2)Convert watts (W) to kilowatts (kW)Multiply your total power demand including load factor x price per kW / monthExample: $85 per kW / Month, 80% Load Factor, 100 Bitmain Antminer S9s100 x 1,323 Watts = 132,300 Watts132,300 Watts x 1.2 = 158,760 Watts158,760 Watts / 1,000 = 158.76 Kilowatts (kW)158.76 kW x $85 = $13,494.60 per monthIn the example above, it will cost you $13,494 per month to host 100 Bitmain Antminer S9s at $85 per kW with power requirement of 1,323 watts per mining rig. This includes the load factor which adds an additional 20% power demand to your power requirements.Its important to note that the reason for the load factor is that the breakers and wires cannot take a continuous load. Its like redlining the engine of your car for too long.Speak with the ExpertsAt Datacenters.com, our provider agnostic approach allows us to partner with hundreds of different data center operators, offering the widest selection of solutions possible. As a result of this, were uniquely positioned to know which hosting providers are accommodating of bitcoin miners and which arent. As most miners know firsthand, not every data center is willing to allocate the space and power necessary to operate a successful mining operation.Datacenters.com is the leading technology platform, directory, and online marketplace for data center solutions. Our portfolio consists of 340+ providers with 2,900+ facilities in 85 countries, allowing users to search, compare, and contact industry leading solution providers with the click of a button.Our team of expert advisors are available to guide you along the path free of charge. Schedule time today to speak with our team so they can connect you with providers eager to win your business. Datacenters.com are the experts in crypto hosting solutions. Contact us today to find out why.