Feb 7, 2012

Super size me – bigger isn’t always better when it comes to data centers


The 2004 film “Super Size Me” made us all aware that bigger isn’t always better. During the course of a month the independent filmmaker, Morgan Spurlock, consumed three meals per day at the nationwide fast food chain, McDonald’s, and each time he was asked if he wanted to “super size” his meal he agreed.  On average Spurlock consumed the equivalent of 9.26 Big Macs per day, and his fast food binge eventually lead to a weight gain of 24½ pounds in just 30 days. The reason for Spurlock’s investigation was the increasing spread of obesity throughout U.S. society, which the Surgeon General has declared “epidemic.”

Many data center providers take a strikingly similar approach when constructing their facilities to epic proportions. These providers have a bigger-is-better mindset and build their facilities to excess in order to minimize the risk of not having enough space, power or cooling later in the data center lifecycle since it is very costly to increase capacity. According to a recent white paper written by Schneider Electric, these providers know the load requirement of the data center will increase, but this increase cannot be reliably predicted. As a result, the physical and power infrastructure of data centers is typically oversized by more than 100%, leading to increased costs passed on to the customer. As Schneider Electric writes, super sizing might work great at the drive-through, but when it comes to the physical and power infrastructure of your data center, bigger is not necessarily better.

The ideal situation, according to Schneider Electric, is to provide a method and architecture that can continuously adapt to changing requirements. The solution then is for the data center infrastructure to be provided in pre-engineered modular building blocks.

Internap believes in a holistic design approach to scalable space, power and cooling, and the ability to install a right-size system on day one. Our modular build-out process allows us to offer quality, high-availability and high-density data center services.

Have you been subjected to the “super size me” mentality? Check out a new approach to data center design that is not only more efficient, but cost-effective.



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