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Older data centers 'capable' for cloud, too

New data centers are being optimized for cloud computing but older facilities are capable and may need only minor tweaking, according to industry player.
Written by Vivian Yeo, Contributor on

Companies offering cloud services are making changes to existing data centers to deploy cloud services, but it may mean making some tweaks rather than a complete overhaul.

John Yung, vice president of cloud computing business solutions at Savvis, told ZDNet Asia in a phone interview that cloud computing environments are typically designed to maximize computing units per square foot, thus, featuring a higher power density compared to traditional data centers.

With these "highly dense" compute, storage and networking elements, cloud-optimized data centers feature measures to increase cooling, such as spacing out data center equipment and availing more cooling resources, he said. In addition, data centers geared for cloud computing usually require fiber-based structural cabling instead of a mixed copper and fiber environment.

Newer data centers, noted Yung, also factor requirements such as power density, cooling and cabling into their design. However, older facilities may not necessarily have to undergo a complete overhaul.

"Data center-build in the last two to three years has sufficient capacity to handle the cloud environment," he pointed out.

According to Yung, one aspect where older-generation facilities need to be tweaked for cloud computing is the cooling infrastructure, which needs more room and that invariably demands more unit space to house the equipment. "Older [data centers] probably [do not have] the highest utilization in terms of compute unit per square foot, but they do have the capability to handle the systems to deploy into those facilities," he said.

Savvis, he added, has established eight to 10 data center facilities over the last three years, all of which are considered "the latest and greatest data centers in the market today". In Asia, it has two facilities in Tokyo and Singapore--both of which support the company's cloud offerings.

Yahoo upgrading Asian premises
Yahoo, which has been readying its data centers globally to offer cloud services, said in an e-mail interview that within Asia, it is "modifying the network and installing new software and hardware" in its facilities in Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.

"The upgrades will enable deployment of cloud computing services that speed access to Yahoo content; store, deliver, and replicate Yahoo content; and support automated provisioning and virtualization," said a London-based Yahoo spokesperson.

According to the executive, "select" cloud services hosted in the three data centers will be made available to Yahoo product developers next year. Such services will support Yahoo products serving consumers throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

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