Posts Tagged total cost of ownership

Why Would Companies Buy A Modular Solution?

Posted by on November 29, 2012  |  No Comments

FINANCIAL

CAPEX: Data center design and construction costs can vary widely, according to a large number of criteria. This makes cost comparisons of all kinds of construction difficult, contentious and sometimes misleading. A CAPEX cost of $15m per MW of IT load is a mid-level estimate for a traditional build that would be appropriate for enterprise use. That is the number used in a recent report by 451 Group (The Economics of Prefabricated Modular Data Centers)  for a traditional build, to which prefabricated modular CAPEX costs are compared. The middle 50% of CAPEX cost estimates for prefabricated modular designs are in the range of $8m-11m/MW. The median estimate is around $9m/MW. Prefabricated modular design and delivery of data centers can reduce CAPEX costs by 10-30%.

Deferred Capital Cost: As a large capital expense, building a data center is typically a large project that requires a lot of money upfront to anticipate forecasted IT needs for the next 10 to 15 years. Rapidly changing technology in the data center makes it difficult to justify such a large capital expense for a building that will only hopefully keep pace with technology demands. Modular solutions can be seen as a way to intelligently apply capital to the data center in line with changing technology and IT requirements.

Operating Expense: The engineering in modular solutions has proven, known efficiency throughout subsystems which allow regular operating expenses to be optimized. Optimized power and cooling built-in to modules equate to a lower overall operating expense. The fact that modules are engineered products means that internal subsystems are tightly integrated which results in efficiency gains in power and cooling in the module. First generation and pure IT modules will most likely not have efficiency gains other than those enjoyed from a similar containment solution inside of a traditional data center. Having a modular power plant in close proximity to the IT it serves will save money in costly distribution gear and power loss from being so close. There are opportunities to use energy management platforms within modules as well, with all subsystems being engineered as a whole.

Real Estate: Modules allow operators to build out in increments of power instead of space. Many second generation modular products feature evaporative cooling, taking advantage of outside air. A radical shift in data center design takes away the true brick and mortar of a data center, placing modules in an outdoor park, connected by supporting infrastructure and protected only by a perimeter fence. Some modular solutions offer stacking also — putting twice the capacity in the same footprint.

BUSINESS ALIGNMENT

Rightsizing: Modular design ultimately enables an optimized delivery approach for matching IT needs. This ability to right-size infrastructure as IT needs grow enables enterprise alignment with IT and data center strategies. The module container can also provide capacity when needed quickly for projects or temporary capacity adjustments.

Supply Chain: Many of the attributes of a modular approach speak to the implementation of a supply chain process at the data center level. As a means of optimizing deployment, the IT manager directs vendors and controls costs throughout the supply chain.

Total Cost of Ownership:

  • Acquisition: Underutilized infrastructure due to over-building is eliminated by being deployed as needed.
  • Installation: Weeks and months instead of more than 12 months.
  • Operations: Standardized components to support and modules are engineered for extreme-efficiency.
  • Maintenance: Standardized components enable universal maintenance programs.

 

OPERATIONAL

Speed of Deployment: Modular solutions have incredibly quick timeframes from order to deployment. As a standardized solution it is manufactured and able to be ordered, customized and delivered to the data center site in a matter of months (or less). Having a module manufactured also means that the site construction can progress in parallel, instead of a linear, dependent transition.

Standardization: Seen as a part of the industrialization of data centers the modular solution is a standardized approach to build a data center, much like Henry Ford took towards building cars. Manufactured data center modules are constructed against a set model of components at a different location instead of the data center site. Standardized infrastructure within the modules enable standard operating procedures to be used universally. Since the module is prefabricated, the operational procedures are identical and can be packaged together with the modular solution to provide standardized documentation for subsystems within the module.

Scalability: With a repeatable, standardized design, it is easy to match demand and scale infrastructure quickly. The only limitations on scale for a modular data center are the supporting infrastructure at the data center site and available land. Another characteristic of scalability is the flexibility it grants by having modules that can be easily replaced when obsolete or if updated technology is needed.

Mobility and Placement: A modular data center can be delivered where ever its desired by the end user. A modular solution is mobile in the sense that it can be transported in pieces and reassembled quickly on-site. Mobility is an attractive feature for those looking at modular for disaster recovery solutions.

Density and PUE: Density in a traditional data center is typically 100 watts per square foot. In a modular solution the space is used very efficiently and features densities as much as 20 kilowatts per cabinet. Because the module is pre-engineered and standardized densities are higher and the effective use of electrical power is improved.  (The Economics of Prefabricated Modular Datacenters; 451 Group, 2012).

Universal Networking Services is proud to be the North America Authorized Agent for Datapod™ .  Our partnership with Datapod™ allows us to deliver a unique alternative to the traditional bricks and mortar data center installation. We can provide the data center community an alternative solution that maximizes their investment and increases the reliability and availability of their mission-critical facility.  Datapod is an unique, modular data center system that incorporates innovative design and cutting edge mechanical and electrical engineering. Datapod has extended the concept of modular data center design to include critical site infrastructure such as modular generators, chillers, and deployment services thereby providing a complete infrastructure solution for data centers. By enabling data center users to deploy when they like, where they like and for how long they like, the Datapod system offers performance superior to that of  a “bricks and mortar” data center facility, deploys faster and at a more cost-effective price point.

Please feel free to email us at info@datapodnorthamerica.com or contact us to learn more.

The Seven Types of Power Problems

Posted by on May 29, 2012  |  No Comments

White Paper 18

Our technological world has become deeply dependent upon the continuous availability of electrical power. In most countries, commercial power is made available via nationwide grids, interconnecting numerous generating stations to the loads. The grid must supply basic national needs of residential, lighting, heating, refrigeration, air conditioning, and transportation as well as critical supply to governmental, industrial, financial, commercial, medical and communications communities. Commercial power literally enables today’s modern world to function at its busy pace. Sophisticated technology has reached deeply into our homes and careers, and with the advent of e-commerce is continually changing the way we interact with the rest of the world.

Intelligent technology demands power that is free of interruption or disturbance. The consequences of large-scale power incidents are well documented. A recent study in the USA has shown that industrial and digital business firms are losing $45.7 billion per year due to power interruptions. Across all business sectors, an estimated $104 billion to $164 billion is lost due to interruptions with another $15 billion to $24 billion due to all other power quality problems. In industrial automatic processing, whole production lines can go out of control, creating hazardous situations for onsite personnel and expensive material waste. Loss of processing in a large financial corporation can cost thousands of unrecoverable dollars per minute of downtime, as well as many hours of recovery time to follow. Program and data corruption caused by a power interruption can create problems for software recovery operations that may take weeks to resolve.

Many power problems originate in the commercial power grid, which, with its thousands of miles of transmission lines, is subject to weather conditions such as hurricanes, lightning storms, snow, ice, and flooding along with equipment failure, traffic accidents and major switching operations. Also, power problems affecting today’s technological equipment are often generated locally within a facility from any number of situations, such as local construction, heavy startup loads, faulty distribution components, and even typical background electrical noise.

“The Seven Types of Power Problems” Full White Paper (Click Here To Download)

Executive Summary:

Many of the mysteries of equipment failure, downtime, software and data corruption, are the result of a problematic supply of power. There is also a common problem with describing power problems in a standard way. This white paper will describe the most common types of power disturbances, what can cause them, what they can do to your critical equipment, and how to safeguard your equipment, using the IEEE standards for describing power quality problems.

Contents:

  • Transients
  • Interruptions
  • Sag/undervoltage
  • Swell/overvoltage
  • Waveform distortion
  • Voltage fluctuations
  • Frequency variations

Conclusion:

The widespread use of electronics has raised the awareness of power quality and its affect on the critical electrical equipment that businesses use. Our world is increasingly run by small microprocessors that are sensitive to even small electrical fluctuations. These micro-processors can control blazingly fast automated robotic assembly and packaging line systems that cannot afford downtime. Economical solutions are available to limit, or eliminate, the affects of power quality disturbances. However, in order for the industry to communicate and understand power disturbances and how to prevent them, common terms and definitions are needed to describe the different phenomena. This paper has attempted to define and illustrate power quality disturbances as outlined in IEEE Standard 1159-1995, IEEE Recommended Practice for Monitoring Electrical Power Quality.

Reducing equipment downtime and production expense, therefore increasing profit, is the goal of any size business. Communicating by understanding the electrical environment, and equipment’s susceptibility to power quality disturbances, will help in the discovery of better methods to achieve business goals and dreams.

White Paper Written By:

Joseph Seymour

Universal Networking Services brings a comprehensive solution from the utility pole to the server and assists with navigating the complex waters of most size and scope of projects. Whether you are upgrading, retrofitting or developing a new design-build, UNS and its partners generate efficient, scalable, reliable and manageable critical infrastructure solutions to your organization. Our holistic, common sense approach lowers our clients Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and maximizes efficiencies offered by the advancements in critical power and cooling infrastructure.

Please feel free to contact us to learn more.

“What is Datapod?” Series-Part 3

Posted by on May 17, 2012  |  No Comments


We would like to follow up our latest blog “Accounting and Tax Benefits of Modular, Portable Data Center Infrastructure” with the benefits of cost segregation and the Datapod™ System.


Cost segregation is a strategic tax savings tool that allows companies and individuals, who have constructed, purchased, expanded or remodeled any kind of real estate to increase cash flow by accelerating deprecation deductions and deferring federal and state income taxes. Because the entire Datapod system (everything in the container and the container itself) is not considered to be a building, you would capitalize the total cost of the system (including the installation costs) and depreciate it over five years for tax purposes.

Attached is a benefit estimate that takes 100% of a $1,000,000 cost and moves it from 39 years to 5 years.  You can see that the Datapod system–compared to a million dollars of traditional new data center costs–will provide you with an improved cash flow of over $65,000 in year 1 and nearly $290,000 in years 1-5, cumulatively.  This analysis assumes a 35% federal income tax rate. Consideration of state income tax will enhance the results.  Note: This is provided purely for illustrative purposes; the fees and yields are merely examples and are not meant to be indications of actual fees or results.

Sample Benefit Estimate and Fee Quote (Click Here To Download Larger View)

Universal Networking Services works closely with a dedicated cost segregation team that includes engineers and tax experts that have performed thousands of tax projects resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in benefits.   The initial assessment to determine qualification is free.  If you think you may qualify for cost segregation and want to increase your cash flow please feel free to contact us to learn more.

Specification of Modular Data Center Architecture

Posted by on May 17, 2012  |  No Comments

White Paper 160

Modularity is loosely defined as a technique that builds large systems out of smaller subsystems, where the subsystems have well defined rules for interfacing to each other. Modularity also suggests a simplified approach to installation or replacement, ideally with “plug in” of modular elements that require simplified commissioning.

Recent reports by Gartner reflect the growing realization that “The first two generations of data center designs are no longer appropriate for current and future needs. New data centers should be perceived less as a static structure and more as an agile, living organism that evolves as the server and storage infrastructure changes.” In response, Gartner suggests operators should “Include flexible, modular, virtualized design principles in new data center designs.”

Major suppliers of data center equipment and complete data center solutions are promoting the benefits of their modular solutions. Yet the definition of modularity remains vague and can be applied to a single device, such as a UPS, or it can be applied to complete data center buildings. In the case of so-called containerized data centers, the data center itself is can be viewed as a module.

Data center operators are faced with a confusing number of poorly defined terms describing modularity including terms like pods, containers, clusters, zones, rows, rooms, busses, etc.

Clearly, modularity within a data center does not refer to one specific ideal design, but rather to an approach that can yield many different types of design. Furthermore, while some data centers may be said to be “more modular” than others, there is no threshold where a data center becomes modular.

When a modular approach is chosen, the degree to which the data center is cut up into modules must also be considered. Should a specific subsystem in a data center have three modules or forty-seven modules? Modularity does have some costs, so making everything as modular as possible is not always effective.

A recent analysis by Tier 1 Research validates the advantages of modularity for data centers but suggests that the industry impact of modularity will only be maximized when modules become “industrialized” and standardized to reduce their costs and speed the supply chain.

In this paper, we will define what is meant by modularity and define terms used for describing and specifying modularity in relation to the physical infrastructure of data center including space, power and cooling. Modularity in relation to the IT architecture or IT hardware is not discussed in this paper. A graphical method for describing a modular architecture will be presented. The feasibility of standardizing and industrializing modularity will be examined. We will show how data center modularity can be effectively applied and specified, and how the approach should vary with the application.

“Specification of Modular Data Center Architecture” Full White Paper (Click Here To Download)

Executive Summary:

There is a growing consensus that conventional legacy data center design will be superseded by modular scalable data center designs. Reduced total cost of ownership, increased flexibility, reduced deployment time, and improved efficiency are all claimed benefits of modular scalable designs. Yet the term “modular”, when and where modularity is appropriate, and how to specify modularity are all poorly defined.

This paper creates a framework for modular data center architecture and describes the various ways that modularity can be implemented for data center power, cooling, and space infrastructure and explains when the different approaches are appropriate and effective.

Contents:

  • Problems solved by modularity
  • Elements of modular architecture
  • Defining modular architecture for data centers
  • One or many modular architectures?
  • Documenting a modular data center architecture
  • Specifying a data center project using modular methods
  • Containers, skids, and other form factors

Conclusion:

The benefits of modular architecture are becoming widely recognized. This paper has only briefly summarized these benefits. The move toward modular data center is inevitable because the overwhelming improvements in performance and TCO that accrue. This form of advancement can be seen in many industries such as the automotive industry and the IT equipment industry. For data centers the only questions are how quickly this transformation will occur and what form it will take.

This paper defines what is meant by modular data center architecture, so that operators, engineering firms, construction firms, and suppliers can begin to have productive conversa- tions about modular data center design using a common language. This paper has also gone further in describing how modular architecture can be formally specified. The industry will only obtain the benefits of modular data center architecture when the standard specification system described here, or one like it, becomes a commonly accepted way for vendors to describe data center offers, and for customers to use in requesting quotations.

White Paper Written By:

Neil Rasmussen

Universal Networking Services is proud to partner with Datapod™ to deliver an unique alternative to the traditional bricks and mortar data center installation. With Datapod we can provide the data center community an alternative solution that maximizes their investment and increases the reliability and availability of their mission-critical facility.  Datapod is an unique, modular data center system that incorporates innovative design and cutting edge mechanical and electrical engineering. It has extended the concept of containerized data centers to include critical site infrastructure such as modular generators, chillers, and deployment services thereby providing a complete infrastructure solution for data centers. By enabling data center users to deploy when they like, where they like and for how long they like, the Datapod system offers performance superior to that of  a “bricks and mortar” data center facility, deploys faster and at a more cost-effective price point.

Please feel free to contact Waite Ave at w.ave@apcdistributors.com or contact us to learn more.

Accounting and Tax Benefits of Modular, Portable Data Center Infrastructure

Posted by on May 11, 2012  |  No Comments

White Paper 115

This white paper is provided to highlight the opportunities and benefits of involving a finance or tax professional who is knowledgeable in the acquisition and deployment of data center physical infrastructure (DCPI) assets. Applying the accounting options available within the framework of what is known as Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), DCPI assets may be better aligned with the goals and objectives of a particular business, institution, or organization. This document is not intended to provide or offer advice on tax planning, as only a qualified or certified financial professionals may actually provide tax advice.

Among the difficulties faced by owners of DCPI assets, is the absence of perceptive financial treatment of the individual portions of mission critical systems. Frequently, the UPS, power distribution unit (PDU), and branch circuit panels installed in the construction of a building (or as a major “improvement project“) will be booked as a “building improvement” and depreciated along with the concrete, steel, boilers and pipes of the building. The “building” will likely have a long depreciable life, which may be upwards of 30+ years. However, DCPI equipment typically has a relatively short useful life, even though the UPS, PDU, and related branch circuits may remain on the books long after they are declared obsolete. For many companies, improper booking of high technology DCPI such as UPS systems and PDUs routinely causes substantial problems in the form of overstated “real property” asset value, and the obligation to take a “write-down” in the year that the UPS and related parts are “retired”. A glossary is provided in the appendix of this paper to define various terms used throughout.

Recent improvements in the design and manufacture of DCPI equipment, particularly UPS systems, PDUs, and (to some extent) air conditioning, has opened up the opportunity to treat DCPI as “business equipment”, rather than a part of the building in which the equipment is installed. This achievement is the direct result of scalable, modular, and fully manufactured systems requiring little or no field wiring other than the connection of the input power (which may be accomplished through “cord and plug connected” means).

This improved DCPI works well in a dynamic business climate where technology changes frequently and economic cycles and leaseholds may be substantially shorter than real estate investment periods. The integration of this DCPI into a corporation, institution, or organization’s economic model is not difficult, because nearly all corporations, institution, or organizations have experience with the management of business equipment, including computers, copy machines, production machinery, and company owned vehicles.

“Accounting and Tax Benefits of Modular, Portable Data Center Infrastructure” Full White Paper (Click Here To Download)

Executive Summary:

Well-informed accounting treatment of data center physical infrastructure (DCPI) assets provides significant opportunities to contribute to improving the financial performance of a business, institution, or organization. Design and manufacturing improvements in modular, scalable UPS systems, power distribution units (PDUs), and computer room air conditioners have not only created technological benefits, but provide entirely new DCPI asset management opportunities with direct and measurable financial benefits.

Contents:

  • “Traditional” vs. factory-built solutions
  • Understanding property taxes and related government fees
  • Financial planning for DCPI assets
  • Implementation of an asset management strategy for DCPI (Steps 1-7)
    • Step 7:  Cost segregation

Cost segregation:

By applying different depreciation rates to different components of a building, a business, institution, or organization may lower its corporate income taxes and thereby make available more cash flow. Cost segregation, as practiced by financial professionals with experience in corporate income tax accounting, is largely an exercise in recognizing and separately accounting for the costs of 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 year property from the 30 or 39 year property classifications. The property in the each of the classifications from 5 to 20 years, in addition to being properly separated from the 30 or 39 year categories, once properly identified, are eligible for accelerated depreciation. Accelerated depreciation allows a business, institution, or organization paying corporate income tax to further increase deductions during the early life of the equipment.

Businesses, institutions, and organizations that own high technology assets can benefit the most from employing cost segregation methodology, so long as each asset can pass the so called function and use test and the inherent permanency test. The function and use test is intended to determine whether an asset serves any purpose in the operation of the building, as carefully differentiated from the business conducted within the building. If the asset is determined not to serve any purpose in the operation of the building, it is then subject to the inherent permanency test, where ease of removal and the complexity of the removal process are evaluated. Modular, scaleable, factory built DCPI performing the work or mission of a business, institution, or organization, routinely pass both tests easily.

Conclusion:

The impact of tax and tax related asset management strategies on the total cost of ownership of DCPI can be significant. These savings are entirely separate to gains in energy efficiency and the cost of maintenance, compared to an old, oversized legacy or traditional UPS system, with high electrical energy consumption, escalating repair, deferred maintenance, and real estate costs. Personal property, real estate, and corporate income tax savings, and tax related savings (such as the tax component of rent) can produce direct financial benefits, in excess of 20% of the installed cost of a properly sized, installed, and “booked”, factory-built UPS and PDU solution.

The key to successful implementation of a tax and tax related asset management strategy is involving a financial professional along with the IT professionals, and facility managers involved in the deployment of DCPI, and:

  • Consider treating all factory-built DCPI solutions as business equipment
  • Consider declaring factory built DCPI as personal rather than real property
  • Create realistic depreciation schedules
  • Avoid life cycle errors creating stranded asset requiring a “write-down” against earnings
  • Reassess permit and inspection requirements for factory built DCPI
  • Plan for asset portability and asset reassignment; and incorporate tax related savings including
  • Plan for reduction in construction costs for a dedicated UPS room
  • Lower monthly or annual rents or allocation cost associated with dedicated UPS rooms, hallways, and common areas required to access the dedicated UPS rooms

Modular, scalable UPS systems, PDUs, and computer room air conditioners have not only created technological benefits, but provide entirely new DCPI tax and asset management opportunities with direct and measurable financial benefits. While this white paper is intended to highlight these opportunities, its primary message is the benefit of involving a tax professional in any team planning improvement to a data center or network room DCPI. The results will be dramatic.

White Paper Written By:

Barry Rimler

Organizations that own high technology assets can benefit the most from exercising cost segregation strategies, so long as each asset can pass the function and use test and the inherent permanency test.  Modular, scaleable factory built Data Center Physical Infrastructure (DCPI) performing the mission of a business routinely pass both tests with ease.

Tax and tax related asset management strategies create a significant impact on the total cost of ownership of DCPI.  These savings are entirely separate to gains in energy efficiency.  Successful implementation of cost segregation strategies involves a financial professional along with the IT professionals and facility managers in the deployment of DCPI.

Universal Networking Services works closely with a dedicated cost segregation team that includes engineers and tax experts that have performed thousands of tax projects resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in benefits.   The initial assessment to determine qualification is free.  If you think you may qualify for cost segregation and want to increase your cash flow please feel free to contact us to learn more.

“What is Datapod?” Series-Part 2

Posted by on May 1, 2012  |  No Comments

Article “Photos: Inside Datapod’s container data centres”
Click Here To Download Article


Universal Networking Services is proud to partner with Datapod™ to deliver an unique alternative to the traditional bricks and mortar data center installation. With Datapod we can provide the data center community an alternative solution that maximizes their investment and increases the reliability and availability of their mission-critical facility.  Datapod is an unique, modular data center system that incorporates innovative design and cutting edge mechanical and electrical engineering. It has extended the concept of containerized data centers to include critical site infrastructure such as modular generators, chillers, and deployment services thereby providing a complete infrastructure solution for data centers. By enabling data center users to deploy when they like, where they like and for how long they like, the Datapod system offers performance superior to that of  a “bricks and mortar” data center facility, deploys faster and at a more cost-effective price point.

Please feel free to contact Waite Ave at w.ave@apcdistributors.com or contact us to learn more.


TCO Analysis of a Traditional Data Center vs. a Scalable, Containerized Data Center

Posted by on April 29, 2012  |  No Comments

White Paper 164

Power and cooling systems available now are more modular, more standardized, and more efficient than those installed in the majority of data centers today. Whether upgrading an existing data center or building a new one, data center managers will minimize both capital and operating expenses by specifying physical infrastructure with the following attributes:

  • Standardized, pre-assembled, and integrated components
  • Modular infrastructure than can scale as the load increases over time
  • Efficient power and cooling components
  • Cooling design with integrated economizer mode
  • Pre-programmed controls

White Paper 163,“Containerized Power and Cooling Modules for Data Centers”, describes how standardized, pre-assembled, and integrated modules (sometimes referred to as containers) save deployment time and upfront cost compared to the same electrical and mechanical infrastructure implemented in a “stick built” manner with custom engineering and considerable onsite work.

However, significant additional savings can be achieved. The modular nature of facility modules enables scaling and rightsizing to actual data center loads. This, in combination with current power and cooling distribution technologies, results in a TCO savings of nearly 30% over a traditional data center (27.2% capital cost and 31.6% operating cost).

“TCO Analysis of a Traditional Data Center vs. a Scalable, Containerized Data Center” Full White Paper (Download It Here)

Executive Summary:

Standardized, scalable, pre-assembled, and integrated data center facility power and cooling modules provide a “total cost of ownership” (TCO) savings of 30% compared to traditional, built-out data center power and cooling infrastructure. Avoiding overbuilt capacity and scaling the design over time contributes to a significant percentage of the overall savings. This white paper provides a quantitative TCO analysis of the two architectures, and illustrates the key drivers of both the capex and opex savings of the improved architecture.

Contents:

  • Cost Comparison
  • Assumptions

Conclusion:

Traditional designs almost always intentionally incorporate excess capacity upfront because subsequent expansion of power and cooling capacity is extremely difficult and costly in a production data center. This often has the effect of people being overly conservative in capacity planning which then results in higher upfront capital costs and a chronically inefficient data center. The proper deployment of facility modules, on the other hand, eliminate this wasteful oversizing tendency, because its standardized, modular architecture makes adding or reducing capacity to meet real-world, dynamic demand much easier. This, in conjunction with efficient, integrated power and cooling technologies results in TCO savings of 30% compared to a typical oversized data center operating today.

White Paper #164 Written By:

Wendy Torell

Universal Networking Services is proud to partner with Datapod™ to deliver an unique alternative to the traditional bricks and mortar data center installation. With Datapod we can provide the data center community an alternative solution that maximizes their investment and increases the reliability and availability of their mission-critical facility.  Datapod is an unique, modular data center system that incorporates innovative design and cutting edge mechanical and electrical engineering. It has extended the concept of containerized data centers to include critical site infrastructure such as modular generators, chillers, and deployment services thereby providing a complete infrastructure solution for data centers. By enabling data center users to deploy when they like, where they like and for how long they like, the Datapod system offers performance superior to that of  a “bricks and mortar” data center facility, deploys faster and at a more cost-effective price point.

Please feel free to contact Waite Ave at w.ave@apcdistributors.com or click on contact us to learn more.

Make Your Data Center More Efficient-TradeOff™ Tools

Posted by on April 25, 2012  |  No Comments

APC TradeOff ToolsTM, are web-based applications with easy-to-use interfaces designed for use in the early stages of data center concept and design development. By enabling data center professionals to experiment with various scenarios regarding virtualization, efficiency, power sizing, capital costs, and other key design issues, APC TradeOff Tools break down major data center planning decisions into a series of smaller, more manageable decisions. Use of these tools helps validate, through modeling, the overall design of a data center.

What are TradeOff Tools?

TradeOff Tools are simple, interactive tools, based on data and science, that make it easy to vary parameters, experiment with “what if” scenarios and make tradeoffs during data center planning.

  • Simple, automated tools to support specific planning decisions
  • Models complex interactions of systems based on data and science
  • One-screen, standardized user interface
  • Instant output allows for rapid creation of “what if” scenarios

When should they be used?

Used early in the planning process, TradeOff Tools help avoid planning roadblocks by making informed and accurate decisions

How do they help in planning a data center?

TradeOff Tools help show quantifiable, tangible benefits of implementing certain technologies and justify project decisions.

Video Tutorial Presentation of APC TradeOff Tools™

Data Center Efficiency Calculator (Click Here To Download):

Impact of alternative power and cooling approaches on energy costs.

The purpose of this tool is to show how various design decisions and operating conditions affect the efficiency and electrical costs of a typical generic data center.  As the user inputs details regarding the power and cooling configuration results are calculated based upon a tested and validated three parameter model.

Profiles a data center and calculates the resulting efficiency and electrical cost based on data center characteristics. Users can then understand the impact each key data center decision has on the data center’s efficiency.

Cooling Economizer Mode PUE Calculator (Click Here To Download):

Impact of geography and cooling characteristics on PUE, energy cost, and carbon emissions.

The purpose of this tool is to compare seven common cooling architectures and demonstrate their expected annual PUE, energy cost, and carbon emissions.  As the user inputs details such as the data center location and power & cooling configuration inputs such as IT inlet temperature, % load, and type of power & lighting, results are calculated.

UPS Efficiency Comparison Calculator (Click Here To Download):

Impact of UPS efficiencies on energy costs and carbon footprint.

The purpose of this tool is to compare the efficiencies of two UPS systems and to show the impact these efficiencies have on electricity cost and carbon footprint.  UPSs may be selected from a pull down list, or users can define their own UPS (Schneider Electric or other vendor).  Pre-populated data was obtained by curve fitting to measured efficiency data .  All measurements were taken in normal operating mode, at typical environmental conditions, with nominal elctrical input and balanced resistive load (PF=1.0) output.

Data Center Carbon Calculator (Click Here To Download):

Impact of changes in data center efficiency on energy costs and carbon footprint.

The purpose of this tool is to recognize how “green” a data center is by converting energy usage rates into carbon emissions. The tool illustrates how hypothetical changes to a data center’s location, efficiency, and power load can impact carbon dioxide emissions and the electric bill.

Illustrates how changes to a data center’s location, efficiency, and power load can impact carbon dioxide emissions and the electric bill. This provides management with a general indication of how “green” their data center is today and how “green” it could be.

Data Center Design Planning Calculator (Click Here To Download):

Impact of physical infrastructure technology and growth plan strategies on key design parameters.

This tool allows key decision makers to analyze these parameters, evaluate tradeoffs, and make decisions, to avoid costly mistakes that can magnify and propagate through later deployment phases.

IT Carbon & Energy Allocation Calculator (Click Here To Download):

Impact of efficiency, load characteristics, and location on energy and carbon allocation for IT users.

The purpose of the tool is to help data center operators assign carbon and energy costs to IT users. Energy (cost) and carbon allocations are computed on a per-server basis, based on an “average” server.  The units of “average” server can then be apportioned to the IT users using a method od choice depending on the business model.  This tool allows IT users to make smarter decisions regarding their total cost, as they consider options such as virtualization and server retirement.

Virtualization Energy Cost Calculator (Click Here To Download):

Impact of server virtualization and data center design choices on energy and space savings.

This tool illustrates potential IT, physical infrastructure, and energy savings resulting from the virtualization of servers. It allows the user to input data regarding data center capacity, load, number of servers, energy cost, and other data center elements.

Comprehends IT and physical infrastructure characteristics and calculates energy savings resulting from the virtualization of servers. This allows the user to test the impact of virtualization and various physical infrastructure improvements on their data center floor space and on their energy consumption.

Data Center Capital Cost Calculator (Click Here To Download):

Impact of physical infrastructure design changes on capital costs.

This tool identifies calculates capital costs based on parameters including load, redundancy, density, and power/cooling characteristics, the tool can project the number of racks required and the floor space required.

Identifies key data center physical infrastructure parameters and calculates capital costs based on those parameters. This allows data center users to judge how changes to data center location, IT load, and cooling and power infrastructure can impact overall capital costs

Data Center Power Sizing Calculator (Click Here To Download):

Impact of server and storage configurations on IT load capacity and required utility input power.

This tool defines basic characteristics of the IT load and calculates how much utility input power would be required to support that load, allowing users to experiment with “what if” scenarios by modifying the load characteristics of servers, mainframes, and storage. Total load is then calculated and the tool generates a corresponding utility power requirement.

Defines basic characteristics of the IT load and calculates how much utility input power would be required to support such a load. This provides users with a general idea of how much power in kilowatts they will need to run their data center.

Data Center AC vs. DC Calculator (Click Here To Download):

Impact on data center efficiency of various AC and DC power distribution architectures.

Users can compare the energy efficiency of four different power distribution architectures, including Legacy AC (typically 208 V with older data center UPS, PDU, and IT power supplies), Best Practice AC (208 V with latest generation UPS, PDU, and IT power supplies), 415 V AC (same modern components as Best Practice AC, but eliminates the PDUs and assumes 230 V AC power supplies), and 380 V DC (uses a theoretical DC UPS, no PDUs, and IT power supplies with 1.5% efficiency benefit).

Compares four different AC and DC power distribution architectures and calculates their respective efficiencies. This allows the user to make an educated decision on the optimal architecture for their data cente

Data Center InRow™ Containment Selector (Click Here To Download):

Impact of preferences and constraints on the recommended containment approach.

This tool generates a prototype rack and row cooling configuration based on the user’s layout preferences and the physical constraints of the room.

Generates a prototype rack and row cooling configuration based on the user’s preferences and the physical constraints of the room. This provides the user with their optimal InRow cooling containment configuration.

InRow Ancillary IT Equipment Cooling Calculator (Click Here To Download):

Impact of IT, cooling, & room characteristics on ability for row-based cooling to support ancillary IT loads.

This calculator helps the data center designer determine if additional cooling must be provided or if the existing row-based cooling is sufficient as miscellaneous ancillary IT equipment is added outside of the rows, such as tape silos, storage equipment, and networking gear.

Find out how Universal Networking Services brings a comprehensive solution from the utility pole to the server and assists with navigating the complex waters of most size and scope of projects. Whether you are upgrading, retrofitting or developing a new design-build, UNS and its partners generate efficient, scalable, reliable and manageable critical infrastructure solutions to your organization. Our holistic, common sense approach lowers our clients Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and maximizes efficiencies offered by the advancements in critical power and cooling infrastructure.

Please feel free to contact us to learn more.

Six Reasons Why Modular Power and Cooling Plants Will Make Traditional Data Center Designs Obsolete

Posted by on April 22, 2012  |  No Comments

Neil Rasmussen (Senior Vice President of Innovation, IT Business for Schneider Electric) delivers keynote presentation that asserts that many traditional data centers are inefficient, costly and incompatible with high density IT deployments, and that pre-engineered and pre-manufactured power and cooling subsystems based on standardized modules can provide optimized and predictable performance faster and at lower cost.

Uptime Institute Symposium 2011 Video Clip (Click Here To View)

Six Reasons Why Modular Power and Cooling Plants Will Make Traditional Data Center Designs (Click Here To Download Green Data Center Conference Presentation)

Presentation Highlights Delivered by Neil Rasmussen:

Traditional data center defined:

  • Power and cooling devices from various manufacturers are integrated for a project
  • System performance is predicted by analysis
  • Controls are created for the project
  • Management software is customized for the project
  • Cooling is by CRAC/CRAH units located in the IT room
  • Air is distributed under floor via vented tiles
  • Outdoor heat rejection via dry cooler, condenser, or cooling tower

Modular power and cooling plants defined:

  • End-to-end power and cooling systems are pre-engineered and pre-manufactured
  • Standard building blocks are available
  • Modules may be internally fault tolerant, and can be combined to achieve redundancies
  • Equipment arrives in pre-packaged modules, such as skids, containers, or kits
  • System performance is guaranteed by spec
  • Controls are standard
  • Management software is standard for the modules

Reason #1: Economizer regulations

  • ASHRAE, LEED, and local regulations require economizer modes
    • Old model: Economizer assists mechanical plant, when possible
    • New model: Mechanical plant assists economizer, when needed
  • Maximization of free cooling is a complex design and control problem, difficult to achieve in a unique design
  • An integrated design, that considers IT supply temperatures and airflows, load factors, and ambient conditions is best achieved in a standardized, pre-engineered system

Reason #2: Dynamic power variation

  • Power management functions in IT equipment will play a major role in reducing overall energy use of data centers
    • Old model: Long term adaptations to slow changes in load
    • New model: Cooling plant optimizes for wide swings in IT load
  • Traditional plant design responds through interventions (moving tiles, turning equipment on and off, adding equipment)
  • An optimizing cooling plant adapts to changing load and airflow requirements by design

Reason #3: Speed of deployment

  • Modularity is not automatically faster
  • Modularity allows standardization. It is standardization that makes cycle time faster
    • Old model: 18 month design-build-commission cycle
    • New model: 4 month order-install cycle. Design is off-the-shelf. Systems mainly pre   commissioned.
  • Eventually standard power and cooling modules will be inventory items

Reason #4: Scaling requirements

  • Oversizing remains a major drag on the data center industry
  • It is the dominant contributor to energy inefficiency
  • It causes waste of CAPEX and OPEX
    • Old model: Build it now because it is too painful – slow – risky – burdensome – costly to adapt   later
    • New model: Modular design for scalability
  • Capacity can also be scaled to meet changes in power density and redundancy

Reason #5: Control & management system costs

  • Controls and management system cost in traditional data center is around $.50 -$1.50 per watt (under 10% of system cost)
  • To actually correctly engineer such unique systems for a traditional data center should cost about $5 per watt (nearly equal to expected system cost) if we
    • Optimized for energy savings
    • Did full testing under all operating and fault conditions
    • Documented the system fully
    • Embedded effective diagnostics
    • Did appropriate fault-tree and event-tree analysis
    • Designed to accommodate expected changes

Reason #6: Lower installed and operating costs
Extra installed costs

  • Container / skid / package costs
  • More smaller devices replace fewer larger devices

Installed cost savings

  • One-time engineering
  • Defer costs of capacity not yet required
  • Programming & configuration
  • Rigging
  • Documentation
  • Shipping / installing damage
  • Factory vs. field labor
  • Less field testing

Extra operating costs

  • None identified

Operating cost savings

  • Reduced expertise requirements
  • Energy costs
  • No maintenance costs on capacity not yet required

Conclusion

  • Standardized modular power and cooling plants have lower cost and better performance
  • Challenges such as dynamic power, economizer optimization, and high density will accelerate the end of traditional design approaches
  • Modular approaches to cooling plants just as effective for indoor IT rooms as they are for IT containers

Resources

“Economizer Modes of Data Center Cooling Systems” Full White Paper 132 (Download Here)

“Containerized Power and Cooling Modules for Data Centers” Full White Paper 163 (Download Here)

“Hot Aisle vs. Cold Aisle Containment” Full White Paper 135 (Download Here)

APC White Paper Library (Click Here)

APC TradeOff Tools™ Library (Click Here)

Universal Networking Services is proud to partner with Datapod to deliver an unique alternative to the traditional bricks and mortar data center installation. With Datapod we can provide the data center community an alternative solution that maximizes their investment and increases the reliability and availability of their mission-critical facility.  Datapod is an unique, modular data center system that incorporates innovative design and cutting edge mechanical and electrical engineering. It has extended the concept of containerized data centers to include critical site infrastructure such as modular generators, chillers, and deployment services thereby providing a complete infrastructure solution for data centers. By enabling data center users to deploy when they like, where they like and for how long they like, the Datapod system offers performance superior to that of  a “bricks and mortar” data center facility, deploys faster and at a more cost-effective price point.

Please feel free to contact us to learn more.

Avoiding Costs from Oversizing Data Center and Network Room Infrastructure

Posted by on April 15, 2012  |  No Comments

White Paper 37

This paper will show that the single largest avoidable cost associated with typical data center and network room infrastructure is oversizing. The utilization of the physical and power infrastructure in a data center or network room is typically around 50-60%. The unused capacity of data centers and network rooms is an avoidable capital cost, and it also represents avoidable operating costs, including maintenance and energy.

This paper is constructed in three parts. First, the facts and statistics related to oversizing are described. Next, the reasons why this occurs are discussed. Finally, an architecture and method for avoiding these costs is described.

“Avoiding Costs from Oversizing Data Center and Network Room Infrastructure” Full White Paper (Download Here)

Executive Summary:

The physical infrastructure of data centers and network rooms is typically oversized by five times the actual capacity at start-up and more than one and a half times the ultimate actual capacity. Oversizing statistics from actual customer installations are presented. The TCO costs associated with oversizing are quantified to be in excess of 30%. The fundamental reasons why oversizing occurs are discussed and an architecture and method for avoiding it is described.

Contents:

  • Facts and statistics related to oversizing
  • Why does oversizing occur?
  • Fundamentals reasons for oversizing
  • Architecture and method to avoid oversizing

Conclusion:

Data centers and network rooms are routinely oversized to more than 1 1/2 times their ultimate actual capacity. Oversizing drives excessive capital, maintenance, and energy expenses, on the order of 30%. This is a substantial fraction of the overall lifecycle cost. Most of this excess cost can be recovered by implementing a method and architecture that can adapt to changing requirements in a cost-effective manner while at the same time providing high availability.

White Paper #37 Written By:

Neil Rasmussen

Find out how Universal Networking Services brings a comprehensive solution from the utility pole to the server and assists with navigating the complex waters of most size and scope of projects. Whether you are upgrading, retrofitting or developing a new design-build, UNS and its partners generate efficient, scalable, reliable and manageable critical infrastructure solutions to your organization. Our holistic, common sense approach lowers our clients Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and maximizes efficiencies offered by the advancements in critical power and cooling infrastructure.

Please feel free to contact us to learn more.

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