As the Weather Channel shows, when temperatures in New York City match the heat in Phoenix, weird things can happen. And for IT pros, power outages, thunderstorms, and sauna-like atmospheric conditions are a potentially powerful threat to corporate data.
Ironically, some of the measures users take to cope with burgeoning data contribute to the danger. Blade servers and dense storage arrays can soak up twice the amount of power and cool air as their predecessors. Indeed, it's precisely these conditions that have become a focus for new development by various suppliers.
This week, for instance, IBM introduced new "cool Blue" software to manage data center power consumption and thermal conditions along with its AMD Opteron-based servers. (See IBM Bolsters Blade Strategy.) And HP last year added a Power Regulator feature to its ProLiant servers that automatically monitors and controls power by policy or application activity. HP also claims its BladeSystem c-Class servers are equipped with fans that consume less power while delivering more cooling; and the vendor touts a "self-cooled rack" called the HP Modular Cooling System for equipment.
These are just the tip of an iceberg of supplier claims. RAID controllers from Digi-Data now take "power naps" to conserve resources, and Intel says it's Dual-Core Intel Xeon Processor 5100 uses 40 percent less power. (See Digi-Data Takes Power Nap.) VTL vendor Copan, meantime, has built its reputation in part on the ability of its MAID (massive array of idle disks) systems to power SATA drives up and down to save energy.
There is, too, a ton of environmental gear from companies like American Power Conversion, which specialize in the requirements of data centers with blade servers and dense storage systems. And if you're up for moving, new data center space built with advanced cooling and power features is available from the likes of Digital Realty Trust Inc. and 365 Main. (See 365 Main and Digital Realty Buys Datacenters.)