11/30/2012

Data Centers: Retrofit or Replace?

Industry leaders provide insight

 

Data center retrofits are generally more affordable, but you may need to replace it if it’s so near capacity that upgrading jeopardizes availability.

Is your data center approaching capacity? Or are you searching for cost savings?

Greater efficiency is the answer to both questions – but when is a replacement better than a retrofit? Below, Emerson Network Power and Schneider Electric offer tips on how to tell the difference.

When to Retrofit
If efficiency and capacity are your major complaints, consider a retrofit, advises Peter Panfil, vice president of global power for Emerson. This option is less expensive by far than building a new data center, and bringing the building’s contents up to date could help extend the center’s life.

“Today, a new data center could cost in the range of $17 million per megawatt, with ways to push this down to $12 million per megawatt – for example, through uninterruptible power supply (UPS) improvements,” Panfil explains. “A retrofit will run 25 to 40% of the new-build cost.”

Upgrading aging cooling, power, and IT systems as they near the end of their useful life helps recover capacity that you can then allocate elsewhere, notes Ellen Kotzbauer, Schneider’s segment manager for the U.S. federal government.

For example, UPS systems are often installed and forgotten, but they consume considerable energy. ENERGY STAR now certifies the most efficient UPS products, making selection easier.

Temperature and airflow management benefit from variable frequency drives that match fan output to the load of electric motor-driven devices, as well as controls that monitor server conditions and network cooling units so they work together as a system, Kotzbauer adds.

When to Replace
Despite the higher cost, a replacement may be the best choice in certain situations, Panfil notes. A major retrofit is conducted in a live data center, and if your data center is near or at capacity, it can be difficult to accomplish an efficiency upgrade without jeopardizing availability. You might be better served by a new data center if:

  1. The existing space can’t handle new, more efficient equipment.
  2. T he data center has run out of space but can be used as a disaster recovery site.
  3. Your organization has multiple data centers and wants to improve utilization. In this case, you can gradually consolidate all of the centers into a new, highly efficient one.

When to Do Neither
If neither a new data center nor a retrofit are possible right now, consider a collocation facility, Panfil recommends. These facilities offer overflow containment and demand management for your IT requirements. Use collocation for less critical applications, such as email, and keep the most critical core applications in-house, Panfil adds.

Building additional space onto your existing center can help if this option is available, as can deploying a containerized or modular center for your high-density applications. Containers can be equipped with the newest, most efficient technologies and offer lower cost and risk than either a retrofit or replacement.

 

 


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Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

 

Add highly responsive multi-zone comfort to any building project, in any climate. Our CITY MULTI H2i R2- and Y-Series VRF systems give you flexibility to fit the needs of any building. Enjoy 100% heating capacity at 0°F outdoor ambient, and 85% heating capacity at -13°F outdoor ambient.  For more information, log on to www.mitsubishipro.com


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.

 

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