Data Centers Expanding, Along With Power Budgets: Survey

Campos Research’s new survey of 300 senior data-center executives found that power consumption continues to increase by rack, even as the average PUE figure for the data centers they manage hovers about 2.9. (Digital Realty sponsored the study, which didn’t necessarily include its customers.)

The survey, which covered North America, was conducted in January. Respondents hailed from large North American companies with either $1 billion or more in annual revenues or more than 5,000 employees; each participant was either responsible for managing a data center, implementing a new data center, executing contracts for a new data center, or expanding existing data centers in North America.

Around 26 percent of those surveyed owned six or more data centers, with an average size between 10,000 and 25,000 square feet—small compared to the monsters going up in Iowa and elsewhere. About 85 percent of those use DCIM or management software to help facilitate the process.

Some 20 percent of those surveyed reported a Power Usage Effectiveness metric below 2.0, an excellent result; average power density was 8.5 kW per rack, an increase from 7.9 kW in 2011; the average IT load across all data centers was 2.6 MW, up from 2.2 MW in 2012. More than one in four (or 27 percent) companies averaged 10 kW or more per rack, the survey found, with the vast majority expecting server densities to increase in the coming year.

The survey also tracked datacenter expansions, with 49 percent claiming that they would expand in 2013 and 50 percent in 2014. Of those, 89 percent plan to expand in the U.S, with New York (65 percent), Los Angeles (47 percent) and Dallas (37 percent) named the most popular locations. Forty-seven percent more plan to expand in Europe, with 39 percent aiming for the Asia-Pacific region. However, most would prefer to expand close to home, with 69 percent naming their home city as their preferred location. Security was rated as the top reason that operators chose to expand.

The survey didn’t track those data-center operators who had migrated to (and from) public cloud services such as Amazon’s AWS, or how many data centers used alternative, non-traditional means of cooling, such as geothermal or ambient cooling. Those questions might be asked in subsequent surveys, a Digital Realty told Slashdot.


Image: Campos Research