Five worthy reads is a regular column on five noteworthy items we’ve discovered while researching trending and timeless topics. In this edition, we’ll learn about hyperscale data centers, including how they function, and the considerations and challenges organization face in deploying them.
When the needs of customers grow and organization expands, operations are often moved online via applications that are tightly-knit to the internet and the cloud. As these organizations evolve, computing density increases due to the amount of data consumed and generated by social media, the Internet of Things (IoT), digital transformation etc. Moreover, due to the pandemic, more organizations have gone digital now, resulting in greater network traffic. Traditional data centers are not always agile enough to scale to meet the dynamic nature of these workloads. Operators of traditional data centers face difficulties catering to workloads that involve varying IT requirements.
To accommodate scalability efficiently and effectively, organizations can now turn to hyperscale data centers. The term hyperscale typically means to scale based on the demand. Essentially, the architecture can either be built or dismantled as per the needs of the organization. Beyond just scalability, these data centers can be made flexible, secure, and cost-effective. Since these data centers contain a minimum of five thousand servers, only those organizations that need the option to customize storage, computing, and networking capabilities will benefit from the infrastructure. Although a small number of organizations need such capabilities now, including companies like Facebook and Microsoft, the need is increasing.
The performance of hyperscale data centers must be reviewed regularly to verify that uptime is consistent and reliable. A full-blown outage, or even the slightest of delays, can cause millions of dollars of lost revenues for an organization. To avoid any surprises, a power distribution system that can be used as a power back-up option during critical situations must be built into the hyperscale data center infrastructure by design. Since outages are also possible due to over-heating, a water based system could be added based on the size of the data center. Additionally, a data center infrastructure management (DCIM) tool ensures that energy, power, air conditioning, and other IT equipment-related factors can be optimized and utilized to its maximum potential.
Before choosing a hyperscale data center, organizations should stay current with facts and features, including those presented in these articles:
If an organization has scaled up, or is likely to scale up in the immediate future, a hyperscale data center can be considered. Combining the powerful digital infrastructure with its ability to process large amount of information helps organizations obtain valuable analytical data. Additionally, the design and construction of the facility can aid in the assembly and disassembly of components when needed, assisting with the flexible and scalable nature of the entire system.
Organizations that must accommodate millions of operations across the globe, and can’t delay response time by more than a millisecond, can obtain the most effective outcome from a hyperscale data center. Since the hardware is more rooted than the software, and the security of the structure is more dependent on the programmable factor of the software, computing efficiency is also boosted.
Key innovations for a hyperscale data center include power demands to facilitate the working of the complex infrastructure. Renewable energy is sought by the providers to tackle this demand. Also, to reduce the heat generated during computation, better cooling techniques are required. Experimenting with data center locations by placing them under water, or by relocating them to colder regions, are some innovative strategies being explored.
Data management within the hyperscale data center can be tricky if not planned well. Outsourcing hyperscale computing operations is important as it reduces an organization’s data analysis and storage costs, but the process for considering the best plan to outsource should be meticulous. Cloudstack is an important factor for choosing vendors, and having multiple cloud vendors is a good way to keep the workload movement flexible. For data management to be scalable and resilient, vendors should allow automation and self-service operations.
The availability of suppliers to manage local and expert hyperscale data center requirements is essential. Based on regional regulations, or variations needed for installation and functioning of hyperscale data centers, qualified suppliers must step in. Suppliers and partners play a key factor in ensuring a strong supply chain. As technology evolves, keeping watch for outdated IT equipment and streamlining IT operations is mandatory.
Every technological advancement comes with its set of challenges. A standardized system to minimize the level of damage and keep the functions optimized, with just the right window of opportunities provided to scale, can always be used. But since there are parameters like storage, speed, and networks that change based on the workloads, automation should be considered. It will help with alerts, workload rotation, and management of resources. Also, since a large volume of data will be available at the site, a data center governance and data control strategy must be mandated. With the right set of trained IT professionals and expert local partners, a hyperscale data center can be managed and safeguarded well.