The Shape of Things to Come (Apologies to H.G. Wells)
April 21, 2009

By Staff
Appeared in N'Compass Solutions

We all know that making predictions of the future is very risky.  Ask Bill Gates who proclaimed back in the day that “640k out to be enough for anyone” in relation to PC’s.  However, this presentation is about making such predictions of the data center over the next 5 years in order to stimulate conversation.

Fearless Cooling Predictions
All the hype surrounding liquid cooling of self-contained cabinets and computer equipment will not become common.  They have found that such designs cannot maintain consistent temperature within the cabinet.  Air cooling of cabinets and computer equipment will remain the norm.  As ASHRAE TC9.9 becomes more acceptable and humidity conditions within the space will get much
larger by adoption by the manufacturers.  Airside economizers and Kyoto cooling will become more common as the ASHRAE TC9.9 requirements loosen again by the manufacturers.  If manufacturers allow 95°F as an intake air temperature is acceptable for computer equipment, there will be no need for refrigeration equipment.  Then, we can eliminate the least reliable and
most energy-inefficient part of the cooling system - the chiller.

Fearless Electrical and Software Predictions
There will be more emphasis on UPS efficiency, and with more acceptable technologies efficiency should be able to increase it to 98%.  Power 400Y230V distribution to computer equipment will become more common until 277V power supplies become available.  Then 480Y277V distribution will become common and greatly increase efficiency.  There is already discussion with DC distribution systems and eliminate the conversion losses in the current power system designs.

Virtualization will continue to become more common and more flexible.  On top of this, knowledgeable owners will demand more efficient software that runs quicker and demands less powerful hardware.  This will be done by improving software development and getting rid of bloated code.