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Rasmussen: Data Centers Overdone

NEW YORK -- Neil Rasmussen, founder and CTO of American Power Conversion Corp. (APC) (Nasdaq: APCC) challenged conventional wisdom on data center design during his keynote speech at Data Center Forum 2004, sponsored by NDCF, on Wednesday.

Rasmussen urged IT managers to rethink the traditional approach of building excess capacity into power and cooling systems as well as actual data centers: The conventional way of building data centers is changing -- it can’t work and it has to change,” he insisted.

With businesses looking to deploy high-density devices such as blade servers, users need to do some serious thinking about how they build out their data centers, he added. The traditional approach, or "over-sizing" as Rasmussen described it, can be a massive waste of money.

Instead, Rasmussen urged businesses to "right-size" -- adding technology and physical capacity only when it is needed. “The requirements are changing. Only a tiny number of customers can plan five, six, or ten years ahead.”

To illustrate his point, the exec used the example of a large financial services company that wasted $53 million by building excess data center capacity. Sadly, Rasmussen did not divulge the name of the company but he did confirm that the excess spending worked out to $11,000 per data center rack.

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