Eaton: Gut old data centres and start from scratch

Retro-fitting legacy infrastructures becoming less attractive option, vendor says.

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Eaton: Gut old data centres and start from scratch Brisson: You should gut whatever you have - keep the building, but gut it out
By Staff Writer Published  February 16, 2014

Enterprises running 15-to-20-year-old data centres should seriously consider throwing everything out and building new infrastructures from scratch, according to Cyrille Brisson, vice president of Eaton's Power Quality Division in the EMEA region.

Due to the impressive technological advances in data centre technologies, Brisson explained to, retro-fitting legacy infrastructures to keep up with business demands is becoming a less attractive option by the year.

"If the infrastructure is really old, one of the questions you have to ask yourself is: do I just throw out whatever I have and start from scratch, or do I try to retro-fit what I had in the past?" he said.

"The development in both UPSs and cooling have been so dramatic in the last 10 years, if you have something that's 15 or 20 years old, you would probably be better off throwing it out. You should gut whatever you have - keep the building, gut it out and replace it completely."

Brisson's justification for this view was that data centre technologies now offered so much more both in terms of efficiency and usability - in short, businesses would see a significant return on investment if they adopted more modern infrastructures.

That said, Brisson acknowledged that the appetite for more efficient data centres was not as strong in the Middle East as it is in, say, Europe. He cited this as a possible reason why some enterprises might continue with ageing infrastructures.

"When you find yourself at 15 cents per kilowatt, it's an entirely different ball game to when you find yourself paying a third of that," he explained.

Brisson did, however, voice quiet confidence that the region was beginning to become more environmentally minded - if not for the monetary gain, then out of top-level executives' personal desire to consume less energy.

"I was talking recently with the head of data centres at a major European bank, and he said that it's important to him as a person, and it's important to his organisation, so he's still pushing efforts to reduce energy consumption. I think this is probably what's happening in the Middle East right now," he said.

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