Great story in the DatacenterDynamics newsletter today (a must subscription) relating ten data center trends noted by Emerson - the power delivery and conditioning folks.
Ambrose McNevin of DCD claims not to be surprised by the list, though I have to say a few raised my eyebrows - at least in terms of raising more questions.
Take the first one: rack densities will increase to an average of 12 kW within three years. I certainly agree that if so, data center operators are going to be challenged with power delivery and cooling issues. It would suggest that airflow management will be a necessity, if not a move to completely isolated airflow, which will represent a big investment in legacy facilites.
The second one doesn't ring true, or certainly hasn't in the recent past. Data center operators replace power delivery and air conditioning systems with every third IT refresh cycle? Every ten years? My experience is that cooling systems have a fifteen year useful life. And I've seen UPS systems that are half my age!
I'll save one last critique for item ten, which states that IT workloads vary a lot by time of day, week, month, and even year. The examples certainly ring true, but with most users loading IT gear at ten percent or lower of capacity, these workload swings are essentially meaningless from a power or cooling perspective. Look at the utility meters, as I have, and most data centers have the closest thing to a base loading profile as you can get, with any variation more likely attributable to weather conditions (affecting cooling efficiency) than any other factor.