“Data centre operators are squandering vast sums of money as their facilities fail to reach designed capacity. This is because the need for short term gain drives decision-making which lacks the tools necessary to understand its long term effect on the data centre and causes poor lifecycle planning,” said Hassan Moezzi, CEO, Future Facilities.


This is one of the key findings of a new white paper report published by Future Facilities, a global leader in data centre simulation software and an expert in facility lifecycle planning.  The report, entitled The Elephant in the Room is Lost Capacity, highlights real world examples where capacity is rendered unusable. These include:


  • Failure to preserve much-needed contiguous U space as server racks are deployed without regard to the longer term implications of their placement
  • Failure to balance space and power availability through poorly conceived allocation of PDUs
  • Adopting a ´one-size-fits-all‘ approach to allocating network ports and power to cabinets, leading to under-utilisation of one or the other
  • Poor management of data centre cooling due to neither IT nor Facilities taking full responsibility for it


Dr Matt Warner, Product Manager at Future Facilities and the report‘s co-author, comments: “We can see that it‘s impossible to ignore the symbiotic relationships between space, power, network and cooling when managing a data centre.  How each is handled has a huge effect on the others, making this a highly intricate and sensitive balancing act.  However, the different parts of the data centre eco-system must be balanced in this way to extract full benefit from the investment made in the facility.”


The report goes on to use the Uptime Institute‘s true total cost of ownership (True TCO) spreadsheet tool to demonstrate the financial impact of a 1.3MW data centre running under its design capacity compared with one running at 100% capacity.


In the example  the True TCO annualised at more than $10m per year is virtually the same even though 50% of capacity is not being utilised. The reason is that just one relatively small cost element, load dependent operational expenditure, is determined by the actual size of the installed load.  All the others must be paid in full regardless of utilisation.


This situation is exacerbated by the need to invest further sums in building a new data centre to deliver the ´missing‘ 0.65MW of processing; effectively doubling the cost per kW of processing that was originally budgeted for.


Co-author David King, Consultant Engineer at Future Facilities, notes: “While the pace of technological change means it‘s impossible to avoid some lost capacity, it can be minimised by looking more closely at the longer term impacts of technology deployment as well as taking a more strategic approach to the day-to-day management of a facility.


“Simulation techniques are the only way for data centre operators to gain a clear picture of the future state of their facility.  With the growth of DCIM tools we now have the raw data to work with, while state-of-the-art CFD applications such as our own have the power to generate the modelled evidence to help prevent decisions being taken today that could have major capacity implications tomorrow,” he adds.


To obtain a copy of the report, please visit www.futurefacilities.com and visit the Media Center.




About Future Facilities:


Future Facilities is a leading provider of simulation software for the design, optimization and management of mission-critical facilities and data centers. A leader in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software, Future Facilities offers a suite of integrated software products that tackles the challenges of data center lifecycle engineering.


Additional information can be found at futurefacilities.com


Hassan   Moezzi

Future   Facilities Limited

Damien   Wells


SPA Communications Limited

[email protected]

[email protected]

+44   (0) 20 7840 9540

+44   (0) 7900 302102