Navigating Trends and Challenges in the Evolving Landscape
As a dedicated reseller focused on small to mid-sized data centers, our unique perspective allows us to view the industry holistically, free from the constraints of a single product line or solution. We’ve observed our customers navigating intriguing challenges and making strategic pivots in recent years. Drawing upon our extensive industry expertise, we present our predictions for 2024, to help you prepare for the new year.
Our clientele spans a spectrum, from businesses with modest data closets to Fortune 500 corporations with expansive #datacenter networks. Operating across diverse sectors, including food production, manufacturing, utility, telecom, healthcare, retail, and more, our predictions for 2024 are rooted in a comprehensive understanding of the small to mid-sized data center landscape..
1. AI’s Impact on Data Center Infrastructure
The relentless advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) continues to exert pressure on smaller data center infrastructure. Challenges arise from escalating rack density demands, with organizations seeking solutions exceeding 40kw in a single rack. As AI drives server complexity and power, organizations are compelled to adapt.
The need for increased rack density has come at the price of increased heat, making cooling a critical challenge. We have worked with clients to solve these problems and have utilized a few new solutions that we’re excited about.
Option 1: High-Density Rack Cooling (Fan, Liquid Combo)
Vertiv has joined the game of high-density solutions and liquid cooling by introducing a variety of solutions. The one we’re most excited about is a rear rack door with large fans and liquid cooling coils, boosting rack density to 40-60kw without direct-to-chip liquid cooling or immersion. Some of our customers don’t want direct-to-chip or immersion cooling so this solution is a great innovative option for them. For data centers that already have water or glycol piping, this rear door rack solution is an easy implementation. PTI has successfully implemented this solution, marking a significant advancement in the industry.
Option 2: Immersion Cooling
Ideal for high-density environments, immersion cooling submerges data center hardware in a non-conductive liquid, maintaining a constant cool temperature. Submer offers solutions with diverse benefits, including reduced carbon emissions, enhanced energy efficiency, and a substantial increase in hardware lifespan.
Check out the Submer Micropod, a fully self-contained, closed-loop immersion system LEARN MORE
2. Cloud Migration Challenges and the Need for Expert Guidance
The momentum towards cloud adoption persists, fueled by AI and increased computing needs. However, the decision to migrate poses challenges—complex, costly, and often more prolonged than anticipated. We have had many clients start going down the cloud migration road only to run into countless roadblocks. We’ve seen firsthand the need for expert guidance and support during this complex transition.
Cloud migration is not a simplistic transition. Strategic partnerships with consultants and specialists can help navigate complexities, preventing costly oversights. PTI stands ready to assist our clients through the intricate cloud migration process.
3. VRLA vs. Lithium
In the upcoming year, we anticipate a shift towards greater adoption of lithium batteries in single-phase Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS). The past year saw a significant increase in #lithium usage, offering advantages such as increased runtimes, smaller footprints, extended warranties, and longer battery life. Despite higher upfront costs, lithium UPSs boast a lower total cost of ownership, particularly in single-phase applications.
While lithium adoption is expected to rise in smaller applications, VRLA will likely maintain dominance in three-phase and larger data center operations.
4. Service: A Key Differentiator
With increased competition in the data center hardware space, manufacturers face minimal differences in hardware offerings. Service quality emerges as the pivotal factor influencing purchasing decisions. As downtime becomes increasingly unacceptable, manufacturers must prioritize service excellence, covering aspects such as ease of scheduling, responsive tech support, competitive service plan pricing, and more. As a consumer, you should press your manufacturers to get answers to these very common service issues up front and buy your product accordingly.
Ex, Manufacturer A and Manufacturer B both offer a single phase, 120V, 5Kva UPS with all the same features and at the same or similar price. Ask the following questions to determine which manufacturer best fits your needs:
- How do I contact you in case of service issues?
- Is there remote tech support? Is it 24/7?
- What happens if my units breaks during rhe warranty period?
- What do you offer for annual PM?
- What is your response time for my area?
5. Single Pane of Glass Monitoring: A Must
If your organization is grappling with reduced manpower and expanded hardware (you’re not alone), the need for a streamlined monitoring system becomes paramount. Consolidating various systems into a single pane of glass facilitates efficient monitoring, ensuring prompt responses to issues across the facility. PTI recognizes this trend and offers comprehensive monitoring solutions to help organizations optimize their workforce and safeguard critical infrastructure.
As we approach 2024, the data center landscape is marked by growth, increasing emphasis on critical facility management, and a drive to achieve more with less. The industry is poised for steady and stable growth, adapting to the rapid changes that characterize the dynamic data center environment. PTI remains committed to supporting clients through these changes, providing insights, solutions, and unparalleled service excellence.