Nearly everything we do these days generates data. Each time we go through the checkout line, click on a link, or use an app, we contribute to the flood of information inundating businesses and data centers across the globe. Once smart appliances and autonomous cars become mainstream, we’ll soon be able to add driving and opening the refrigerator to that list.
Within two years, the rate of data creation will reach 1.7 megabytes per second (about the size of a two-minute MP3) for each individual on earth. By then, the digital universe will comprise around 44 trillion gigabytes of data—all of which needs to be stored, aggregated, and analyzed in order to be useful.
For today’s businesses, data is money. It’s one of the most crucial resources that needs to be mined if businesses want to succeed in an increasingly competitive global marketplace. Companies that can effectively leverage data are able to make better decisions at every step in the business cycle, from product development to marketing to customer service. The typical Fortune 1000 company can haul in an extra $65 million in net income by boosting data accessibility by just 10 percent, while retailers who leverage big data can increase operating margins by up to 60 percent.
The more valuable big data becomes, the more companies will seek to store larger volumes for longer periods of time while still maintaining the ability to aggregate, analyze, and quickly access it. Data centers are evolving to meet these changing needs, with new architectures and environments designed to keep data mobile. As organizations increasingly rely on instant data access for decision making, climate control for data centers will become more important than ever.
How data centers are changing
Unlike the old financial and enterprise resource planning data businesses have worked with for decades, which is largely transactional and internally captured, “new” data comes from a variety of sources, both transactional and unstructured.
Take smart cars, for example. A single autonomous car will generate up to 4 terabytes per eight hours of driving. Imagine millions of those vehicles on the road, each collecting its own data. Since today’s networks can’t transmit all of that data to centralized locations for processing and storage, new solutions are needed.
The big data dilemma is fueling the development of new data centers. The architecture of these centers provides different environments for different types of data. Through the use of edge computing, data can be captured, stored, and partially analyzed before it’s transmitted to the data center. The volume of high-speed processing required to analyze large datasets “is driving many new ways to store and access data, from in-memory databases to 100 petabyte scale object stores,” says Network World contributor Joan Wrabetz.
Yet when it comes to designing new data centers, architects often forget to plan for one of the biggest factors affecting data reliability: proper air circulation and climate control, says Michiel de Jong, an engineer at Low Speed Ventilation Datacenters.
How climate control keeps data flowing
Heat and humidity are a data center’s biggest enemies. Without proper climate control, servers can quickly overheat and hardware can fail. Depending on the data center’s size, unexpected downtime can cost up to $5,600 per minute, according to Data Center Frontier.
Polygon helps data centers optimize their environment with climate control solutions for:
Humidity. Too much moisture in the air can cause hardware to short out and can lead to corrosion and rust over time. Too little moisture can put the equipment at risk of electrostatic discharges that can inflict irreversible damage. According to data center temperature and humidity standards, the ideal relative humidity level for a data center is around 50 percent.
Temperature. If the air in the server bay is too hot or too cold, it can cause servers to either overheat or slow down, hampering the ability to quickly access data. It’s important to follow the hardware manufacturer’s recommendations for room temperature, which tend to fall between 64 and 81 degrees Fahrenheit.
Ventilation. As warm air from the equipment passes through the cooler air being blown in, it can create pressure differences that cause airflow to stagnate. Polygon’s climate control solutions also help ensure proper air circulation, which plays a role in maintaining an even room temperature.
As businesses increasingly depend on data centers to store mind-boggling volumes of data, maintaining a healthy climate in the server room will become a top concern. By providing climate control for data centers, Polygon helps keep the data flowing so organizations can make more informed decisions.