Data Center Simulation Projects: Let’s Talk Numbers

Here at Future Facilities, we regularly check in with our clients to ensure that product development is not only working to solve our customers’ most pressing pain points, but also help them grow their business opportunities. 

In 2019, we surveyed several of our key consultant customers: how are you using simulation to grow your business? What we learned is that engineering firms saw a tremendous uptick in their CFD consulting services with more than 50% of their total revenue coming from hyperscale data centers. Even more impressive is the year-over-year growth from 23% in 2018 to 24% in 2019 at the mid-year point.

This year we wanted to perform a follow-up and see how the rest of 2019 panned out. The final numbers for 2019 demonstrate the continued trend toward hyperscale: 73% of our consultant user’s revenue came from hyperscale data centers. We found a 40% year-over-year growth in hyperscale projects in 2019 and we anticipate another year in excess of 8000 hours of consulting services in 2020. External flow modeling continues its rapid growth as well, growing from 3% to 9% of the total consulting revenue.

The figure below details how design consultants are using the 6SigmaDCX suite of simulation tools based on industry sector.


4 Reasons for Data Center Simulation Growth

The core reasons behind the growing demand for data center simulation include: 

1) Rack densities are increasing.

The emergence of modern cloud architecture, big data and AI based applications are driving average rack densities in excess of 10kW/cabinet with individual racks in excess of 20kW. Housing such high-density equipment can be challenging from a power and cooling standpoint both in legacy data centers and in new sites. 

2) Control systems have evolved over time.

Advanced control systems are at the heart of the push to automate data center cooling and the use of AI to dynamically respond to changes in the data center. These systems require complex algorithms that attempt to match airflow and cooling supply to IT demand. Common methodologies include differential pressure control between hot and cold aisles, controlling dampers or louvers to regulate the intake of outside air and temperature differentials to identify and eliminate hot spots. 6SigmaRoom enables users to test the performance of these systems and can even be used to facilitate machine learning. Central to this capability is the ability to specify custom algorithms as highlighted in our blog post here

3) External data center modeling is becoming a key area of concern for designers.

Using simulation and modeling the data center’s external environment from generators to chillers enables engineers to study the impact of one layout over the other.

4) Hyperscale data centers are standardizing on 6SigmaDCX suite of tools.

This is ideal for the data center ecosystem as it allows for OEMs, Designers and Owner-Operators to communicate through the same digital platform. Connecting data center professionals across the supply chain automates communication and simplifies process.

Get Started with Data Center Simulation Today


You might have questions regarding the feasibility of bringing 6SigmaDCX into your consulting practice. Let us show you how 6SigmaDCX can increase revenue and profitability: contact us for a free trial today

Blog written by: Joe Dorsey, Sales Manager, Americas

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