January 21, 2013

Efficiency, the BlackDiamond X8 and Data Holdings new Data Center

The green movement and the desire to control carbon emissions and reduce energy consumption have contributed to the demand for higher efficiency in the data center, but there is another powerful “green” incentive in play – money. A big component of TCO is power consumption and as one of the last places where one can squeeze cost out of the cloud the pressure is on.

The overall efficiency of a data center is measured with a metric called PUE – Power Utilization Efficiency. PUE is a ratio that compares the total amount of power that a data center facility uses to the amount of power used for IT related tasks. The lower this number, the better, with a maximum theoretical value of 1.0, which would be 100% of power consumed being used for IT related tasks with no overhead.

The new Data Holdings Milwaukee data center, with a high efficiency chilled water system, will feature a PUE of 1.32, excellent performance for a Tier III data center. For comparison, Uptime Institute, in their 2012 Survey Results, reports the average data center to have a PUE of 1.8-1.89 (report is here behind a reg wall, it is a good one though).

Once you have done what you can with making the data center itself more efficient with steps like chilled water cooling, the next logical step is to look at the efficiency of your IT equipment. That is where the BlackDiamond® X8 comes in. In some fields, like automotive, you usually have to pay for high performance with reduced efficiency. In contrast, the BlackDiamond X8 sips electricity like a Prius but runs like a top fuel dragster. With power consumption as low as 5.6 watts per 10 Gigabit Ethernet port it is certainly efficient while 20 Tbps switching performance ensures cloud scale performance.

At Data Holdings the BlackDiamond X8 will be ready for SDN applications, including partner apps from our SDN partner Big Switch Networks like Big Tap and Big Virtual Switch as well as other OpenFlow/OpenStack and other applications. Initially the BlackDiamond will be doing 40 GbE wirespeed interconnect with the ability to upgrade to 100 GbE.

It is not often that you get to have your cake and eat it too, but in the new Data Holdings data center and the BlackDiamond X8 you get high efficiency without having to sacrifice leading efficiency.

For more on the Data Holdings facility and the BlackDiamond X8, please see:

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