“Machines are giving us better and better suggestions for things to read, restaurants to eat at and people to date,” Gigaom writes. Many, however, believe that machines are capable of so much more — including automating and managing data center operations. What’s the consensus? Are robotic data centers truly the way of the future?
Google And Amazon Are Already Doing It
The truth is: robotic data centers aren’t as far-fetched as some might think. Data Center Knowledge cuts right to the chase: “Large organizations like Amazon are already using highly advanced control technologies — which include robotics — to automate and control their warehouses.”
Why are robots a good option, even a practical one? In order to make optimal use of space, centers are stacking servers and server racks and cabinets higher and higher. That means humans must use ladders and other equipment to reach the top server rack shelves, and they must risk slip and fall hazards. Robots can change all of that. Machines can safely navigate the very top, and without putting human workers in harm’s way. Right now, just one 19 inch server rack can house 42 to hundreds of servers. If and when centers use robots to reach high-up places, the potential to build server enclosures even higher — and make even more efficient use of vertical space and server room floor space — is vast.
Robots May Be A Resourceful, Energy-Saving Option
What if server rooms, with their various server racks and cabinets, were to become completely and entirely automated? That would afford centers several energy-saving options — that’s what. For instance, since robots do not need to see the same way humans do, centers could eliminate server room lighting, and with considerable savings. Efficient energy use is absolutely necessary, given that data centers used 36% more energy from 2005 to 2010 — and that amount is, if anything, only on its way up.
The most popular server racks hold equipment 19 inches wide with four posts or supports. That, and many other server room features, may change as robotics enable data centers to increase energy efficiency and boost productivity levels.