Why the pandemic has increased the importance of thermal design

The pandemic has moved most organizations further down the spectrum of risk aversion, meaning that product design for data centers will face increased scrutiny. But how well-positioned are electrical engineers to respond to this need?

The tension between reliability and cost in the data center is different within each organization, but one thing that’s certain today is that the pandemic has reduced any appetite for risk. No wonder, as outages are expensive. The Uptime Institute has shown that in 2020, a greater percentage of data center outages cost more than $1 million (now nearly one in six rather than one in 10, as in 2019), and a greater percentage cost between $100,000 and $1 million (40% vs. 28%).

Ramping up the pressure on product design

In the context of a global downturn, these sorts of costs are not sustainable - so throughout the technology stack organizations will be looking for greater reliability. For electrical specialists, the old battle of reducing power requirements, system weight and cost - without compromising performance and reliability - suddenly takes on a more challenging role. It has become not just a matter of technical capability, but a key commercial consideration in how products are taken to market.

And pressure is not on end user organizations alone. We also see equipment manufacturers facing a competitive environment in which their own product development cycles are having to become as seamless as possible.

While the pandemic has directly impacted staffing levels and budgets, many manufacturers are having to ramp up production and development cycles. That means quicker time to market, with more reliable products, and avoiding expensive hurdles such as late-stage design modifications.

Deliver better products, faster and more reliably

For electrical engineers, this means removing every point of failure, unknown scenario or shortfall in performance. Sadly, many organizations are still relying on inaccurate CFD and modelling software that leads to missed schedules and sub-optimal thermal designs. This was just about tolerated in the old world, but competitive differentiation will be tied to getting the most accurate picture of your product’s performance as early in the design cycle as possible.

In contrast to the rules of thumb and incomplete pictures of the past, now is the time to gain total accuracy. Our Digital Twin for the data center providers designers, operators and equipment manufacturers with the capability to simulate their solutions using an exact virtual replication. It provides full visibility of temperature and airflow inside your equipment, which supports better engineering decisions. It allows you to perform risk-free experiments. And it ensures you can avoid those costly late-stage modifications.

For years we’ve helped organizations optimize their modelling, and the Digital Twin ensures you’re ready for the risk aversion that surrounds us all.

Blog written by: Sherman Ikemoto, Managing Director

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14 December, 2020

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