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Direct current (DC) power in the data center has always been perceived as a power solution for the telecom industry, but that could change. Many vendors and analysts are skeptical, but some think DC might be part of an enterprise conservation plan.
The high cost of retrofitting a data center could nullify the 10% to 30% power savings you might achieve, but it's a different story at the rack. Rackable Systems, which recently announced its RapidScale SA3100 storage appliance with optional DC power, pioneered cabinet-level conversion and says more than half of the systems it has shipped in the last two quarters are DC based. These systems can plug into any data center power source to achieve what Rackable conservatively estimates as a 10% power savings.
In combination with other power-reducing initiatives, it might make sense. "When you add it all up, you get a big difference," says John Webster, principal IT advisor at Illuminata.
This was first published in January 2007