Despite the hype around cloud and hosting, more organisations are building their own datacentres to save costs, according to Gartner.
In a session covering best practices in saving datacentre costs at the Gartner Data Center & IT Operations Summit 2011, Rakesh Kumar, Gartner research vice-president, said it was cheaper to build a new datacentre than use a hosted service.
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“In this economic climate where people are under pressure to save costs, we are seeing a net increase in new datacentre designs. People are finding the capital to build 30,000 square foot plus datacentres.”
His revelation is astonishing, given that a European datacentre costs around £25m to construct.
Hosted services are becoming very expensive, he said. Gartner estimates the cost of renting rackspace in a hosted datacentre is doubling every two years.
“If you pay a hosting company over four years, you will have paid for a new datacentre,” said Kumar. Given that a datacentre building will last 25 years, he recommends sweating the asset over moving to a hosted datacentre provider, managed service provider or outsourcing.
Saving datacentre costs
Data from Gartner shows that energy is the fastest growing cost in the datacentre, from 12% today to over 20% in the next five years. Given that the amount of energy coming into a datacentre is outside the control of the business, what can a business do to prolong the life of its datacentres?
According to Kumar, the energy efficiency of x86 processors is reaching a plateau. “We are probably at the maximum of reducing energy consumption on the servers.”
He recommends two approaches to ease the energy issue. If a business is constrained by the floor space in its datacentre, it can increase rack density from 25% to 90%. He estimates this will increase the life of the datacentre by three years.
The other approach is using server refreshes to prolong the life of a datacentre. “New servers are smaller and more energy efficient than prior generations. If, over time, you replace older servers with new energy-efficient servers, to achieve 90% rack usage, you can extend the life of the datacentre by 15 years.”
Kumar recommends that every new datacentre should be plumbed in for chilled water cooling and should combine multiple tiers of availability within the same building. “You can save considerable costs by switching off the air-conditioning and use free air cooling, and this will provide a significant energy saving,” he said.