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What Is a High Density Data Center?

By Contegix

In the past, the size of a data center determined the amount of data it could handle. However, today density is the key factor that determines the capacity of the facility. By increasing the power consumption, measured in kilowatts (kW), of each cabinet, data center operators can offer greater performance to their clients, without needing to expand into a larger physical space. This increase in density can bring important benefits to data center operators and their clients.

What Is Data Center Density?

Data center density is often measured in kW per cabinet. As of 2016, a high density data center is one where each cabinet consumes more than 10 kW. An alternative measure of data center density is the amount of energy consumed per square foot of floor space, which is typically expressed in watts per square foot. In general, a density of more than 150 W per square foot is considered high density.

Benefits of High Density Data Centers

High density data centers have some clear benefits for businesses. First, the more power that data center operators can pack into a small space, the lower the cost of purchasing or renting buildings to store the data cabinets. That is an important concern in regions where real estate carries a premium price, such as London or New York. In these high-cost regions, where demand for data center services is often very high, the real estate cost savings often more than offset the higher cost of purchasing high density servers.

The operational costs of the data center are also much lower in a high density data center than in a low density one, largely due to the fact that high density data centers are much more efficient than low density ones. Although a high density server rack consumes more power and requires more cooling than a low density rack, fewer high density server racks are needed to handle high-performance computing applications. Spreading a performance-intensive task over a cluster of low density server racks means that a large area needs cooling, compared to completing the task on a single high-powered server.

Businesses Today Need High Density Data Centers

High density data centers are very important for modern businesses. They offer the efficiency and cost savings that businesses need to thrive in a highly competitive environment. The amount of information processed online is predicted to increase by 10 times between 2013 and 2020, which means that businesses will place higher and higher demands on their data centers. If data centers continue to use low densities of only 5 kW per cabinet, the physical space required by data centers will soon become unmanageably large. Using high density data centers allows businesses to keep up with the informational demands of the digital age, while keeping their costs under control.

As the demand for computing power grows rapidly, it’s vital for businesses to understand the differences between high and low density data centers, along with the benefits that high density can offer. Although high density server racks are more expensive than lower density ones, the cost savings in terms of real estate and operational costs mean that they can often make financial sense. To learn more about data center density,