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Artificial Intelligence in Data Centers: The New Reality

Artificial Intelligence in Data Centers - AnD Cable Management Blog

For years, artificial intelligence, or AI has been the topic of science fiction, from Skynet in the Terminator movies to more benevolent systems. But AI has now become a reality, and that reality has put artificial intelligence in data centers, and the trend is growing. Data centers employing this technology are often referred to as enhanced data centers.

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Artificial Intelligence in Data Centers - AnD Cable Management Blog
Use of artificial intelligence in data centers continues to grow

But this idea of an enhanced data center will likely become the norm, as customer expectations rise. Unprecedented demand means and centers rapidly reaching capacity mean a need for one of two solutions: increased capacity and increased efficiency. Artificial intelligence can help with both. Here’s how.

Artificial Intelligence and Data Center Emissions Control

Data centers use a lot of power, and that power often converts to carbon emissions. While technology advances and the use of solar can help, there are other solutions as well. It’s all about the efficient use of power, HVAC efficiency and flow rates, and more.

How does it work? Well, sensors, relatively small ones, can be placed throughout the data center to measure airflow rates, temperature, humidity, and power consumption in detail, down to individual racks and components. The artificial intelligence algorithm will learn from data it gathers, and can do one of two things with that data:

  • The AI can take control – cycling HVAC systems as they are needed, redirect fans and other smart devices, increasing or decreasing speed to enhance flow rates, and more. This technique is being deployed in both new and existing data centers when possible.
  • AI can report – What the AI can’t control, such as physical placement of racks, wiring, and more can be reported on and recommendations made to human operators who can make those changes.

For instance, let’s say that you have a human maintenance crew who performs certain tasks at the data center such as cleaning, moves, additions, and transfers. This involves those bodies impacting airflow, opening and closing doors adding to HVAC loads, and more. The AI can recommend the best time when there is the lowest demand on these systems, to perform these tasks.

This reduces energy loads and therefore carbon emissions, but it can do even more.

It’s All About That Balance

Server balance is a critical function of data centers and has been overseen by human managers up until now. But smart data centers are using AI and predictive algorithms to assist these managers, freeing up their time to perform other important tasks.

Much like the advantages gained with sensors and algorithms that learn HVAC needs, the predictive management software will learn as it goes, and distribute loads to servers that will handle them best. This analysis and learning not only saves time but helps decrease wear and tear on overloaded equipment and removes the human error factor that can lead to critical mistakes and downtime.

AI has also made human resources management simpler. Through automating some processes, it frees up data center personnel, and makes scheduling simpler, helping to prevent short- staffing. Then, through video conferencing and using similar technology, companies can get even more done remotely.

Keeping it Up, Locking it Down

The concern of downtime is a real one, and one that can keep data center managers up at night. Keeping up with and preventing downtime manually can seem like an impossible task. AI can help, anticipating downtime based on server loads, traffic, and other factors. Not only can it predict downtime, but AI offers other advantages as well.

Because of the other things it has “learned” AI can devise solutions, and advise human managers on workarounds and prevention, keeping downtime to an absolute minimum. While it’s not yet possible to eliminate downtime completely, stellar numbers can be achieved using AI.

But what about data center security? Threats from malware, hackers, and other digital threats are an ever present danger. AI can analyze traffic at a granular level, and often stop such threats before they get a chance at a foothold.

Like downtime, security breaches are inevitable as new threats arrive all the time. But AI can help minimize risk, isolate threats, and remove them to minimize any damage and data loss.

Designing the Physical Layer of Data Centers

There’s more to the picture than just security, uptime, and human resources. There’s also the matter of the design of data centers themselves. What is the ideal placement for servers and server racks? What is the most efficient method to achieve maximum airflow in the data center? What impact will moves and changes have on HVAC and other systems?

There will always be a physical layer to every data center, and security related to that physical layer is nearly as vital as digital security. An AI algorithm, in combination with AR software, can help you design your data center physical layer the right way from the start, and even guide you as you make those inevitable moves and changes.

The same sensors that feed the AI data about efficiency and power savings can also detect pressure changes, unauthorized data center access, and other data points that help you keep the physical layer of your data center functioning properly and secure at the same time.

More to Come

This is by far simply the tip of the iceberg when it comes to physical layer security, the use of AI in data center enhancement, efficiency, and more. Artificial intelligence is set to impact every single business in one way or another, and the data center is no exception.

Want to learn more about the security of the physical layer of your data center? Need materials to make your enhanced data center design a reality? Contact AnD Cable Products today. We’d love to start a conversation about your needs and can provide you with the right solutions for your data center today and into the next innovations in data center management.

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About the Author

Louis Chompff - Founder, AnD Cable Products, Rack and Cable ManagementLouis Chompff, Founder & Managing Director, AnD Cable Products
Louis established AnD Cable Products – Intelligently Designed Cable Management in 1989. Prior to this he enjoyed a 20+ year career with a leading global telecommunications company in a variety of senior data management positions. Louis is an enthusiastic inventor who designed, patented and brought to market his innovative Zero U cable management racks and Unitag cabel labels, both of which have become industry-leading network cable management products. AnD Cable Products only offer products that are intelligently designed, increase efficiency, are durable and reliable, re-usable, easy to use or reduce equipment costs. He is the principal author of the Cable Management Blog, where you can find network cable management ideas, server rack cabling techniques and space saving tips, data center trends, latest innovations and more.
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