Among nontraditional computer data applications, the growing popularity of data services, such as co-location, web hosting and cloud computing, has compelled data center owners to enhance their technologies and service quality. One of the consequences of this data service explosion is the requirement for more powerful and reliable cooling solutions.
As high-density server racks cannot be adequately cooled using legacy technologies, there is a need for high-density cooling modules. Simultaneously, low-density racks continue to be used because not all data applications require high-performance computing while being targets for more energy-efficient cooling.
A new Frost & Sullivan analysis of the data center cooling market finds that this market earned $1.12 billion in 2012 and estimates it to reach $2.04 billion in 2018.
“The growing demand for cloud and co-location services from a large range of data services has altered market dynamics,” said Pramod Dibble, Frost & Sullivan energy and environmental research analyst. “Data is increasingly being perceived as a vital asset, and there are substantial retrofit opportunities for cooling systems in legacy data centers that still run outdated cooling equipment and, therefore, spend inordinately.”
Despite this substantial potential, cooling systems providers still battle end-user reluctance to implement new equipment. This technology resistance among data center owners and operators stems from the apprehension that servicing unfamiliar cooling solutions may cause expensive delays or downtime. Furthermore, a cooling solution is perceived as untested even if it has up to five years of demonstrated reliability in the data center market.
As a result, many organizations would rather deploy systems that incur higher energy costs than risk using an untested system.
“Nonetheless, operational efficiency is gaining momentum as a key driver for cooling solutions, particularly at the hyper-scale level for high-tech verticals,” Dibble said. “As new technologies and practices demonstrate operational expenditure savings and environmental benefits, other verticals will follow suit.”
Proving the effectiveness of a cooling solution in a variety of conditions and over a period of time is necessary for its wider adoption in the data center market. Partnerships with experienced and knowledgeable electrical contractors will be particularly beneficial to users of next-generation data solutions.