Mar 12, 2008

Building a New Data Center Ain't Easy (or Cheap)

Recently, InformationWeek published photos from Google's newest data center that is being constructed in Iowa. (Yes, Iowa.) The two-year project started last year and will cost $600 million. Now that's a lot of click-throughs to cover the construction cost!

I've been involved in some discussions with a customer who's also maxed out their data-center capacity. They still have floor space in the data center, but they've run out of power. And they're in one of those states where electricity is cheap and plentiful. However, the cost of pulling power into the data center will still cost into the high 6-figures (and that's dollars not Yen).

So they're exploring ways to use their data center resources more efficiently. As they deploy new applications, they deploy more servers. (Sound familiar?) However, not all those apps are needed at the same time. Some apps are provisioned to support the maximum traffic. Other apps are cyclical ones that are only during certain time periods.

So this customer has realized that they can still deploy more applications (and servers) by powering off servers that are not needed. This is an easy step that can be done without changing any of their infrastructure or changing the way they deploy their applications. So, they're able to get more headroom out of their existing data center without having to build a new one. Remember, not everyone has a $400 stock!

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