By Jake Ring, GIGA Data Centers

There is no argument that the cloud computing market continues to grow:

  • IDC predicts global public cloud revenue growing from $180B in 2018 to $277B by 2021.
  • Forrester predicts global public cloud revenue growing 22% CAGR from $178B in 2018 to $323B by 2021.
  • Gartner’s cloud prediction is $186B in 2017 to $302B by 2021.

These cloud predictions inevitably mean more data center space is needed for processing information. Given our decades of data center growth, why has the industry not experienced an Economy-of-Scale situation? The Economy-of-Scale typically kicks in when a company or industry grows and production units increase, creating the opportunity to decrease costs through volume and efficiency gains. Clearly, the number of data centers across the globe continues to increase and their processing abilities are expanding. So why do we remain in the high-cost and high-inefficiency zone?

One of the answers can be found in the fact that most companies can only collocate their IT in a traditional raised-floor data center. This approach has its limits and uses high-cost, low-efficiency designs that support power density that tops out at 7kW per rack. However, the market has begun to introduce innovative solutions with the right combination of ingenuity that has been missing during years of data center build-outs.

For example, a North Carolina facility will go live early this year and will supply megawatts of capacity at 4.1₵ per kWhr and a Power Use Efficiency (PUE) rating of < 1.15guaranteed. With these benefits, hyperscale-level data center performance will now be made available to any company, from small to enterprise.

At a PUE ratio of 1.15, it means that for every dollar of electricity consumed by the client’s IT equipment, only 15₵ of electricity is needed to operate their infrastructure. When compared to other colo data centers with PUE’s of 1.7 or higher, it means the client’s monthly electricity bill can be lower by 80% or more. The low OPEX is realized via hot & cold aisle isolation and adiabatic cooling. This unique cooling method dynamically supports rack-power densities up to 50kW per rack and still delivers a true industry-leading PUE of 1.15 or better.

This is not fantasy; the U.S. government has already taken advantage of this low-cost compute capability. For example, the Department of Energy-NETL modular 1MW data center can support up to 40 racks @ 35kW per rack for its Joule supercomputer. Other notable statistics on its performance include:

  • 50% lower cost, based on traditional raised-floor data center builds
  • An industry-leading efficiency at an average PUE of 1.06 since it opened in 2012
  • The high efficiency reduces average annual electricity expense by $450,000
  • The adiabatic cooling uses 98% less water than a chilled water system with cooling tower
  • Based on TFLOPS per watt (teraflops per watt), the facility is five times more efficient than other supercomputer clusters.
  • Then Department of Energy Secretary Eric Moniz called it “the most efficient data center in the Federal government…if not the country”

When looking for the most cost-effective means to operate your racks of equipment, seek data center providers that leverage innovations to drive costs down through efficiencies and most importantly—pass those cost savings onto customers.


About the Author: 

Jake Ring is President and Chief Executive Officer of GIGA Data Centers. Prior to GIGA, Jake founded DC BLOX as CEO in 2014 to provide comprehensive data center services for the SMB market including colocation and managed services. In 2017 he was made Vice Chairman after pivoting the company to providing expanded availability and network services, then left to found GIGA Data Centers to serve the enterprise colocation market. Prior to this, he was CMO for GE Energy Management where he led the global development of strategy and commercialization initiatives and led the creation of GE’s Critical Power business. Before GE, he spent over nine years managing portfolio companies for private equity investors of electrical and electronic manufacturing businesses. He has also held executive leadership roles with Newark Electronics, American Superconductor Corp., and Emerson Electric, in which he led marketing and product management for the Liebert division.

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