Robotics in the data center

DatacenterKnowledge has a guest post by an MTM Technologies consultant on robotics in the data center.

Robotics in the Data Center

As the reliance on the data center continues to grow, full software and hardware robotics automation is no longer a question of if, but a matter of when, technologists predict. Robotics organizations, like Chicago-based DevLinks LTD are already having conversations and creating initial designs for data center robotics automation.

About 4 years ago I started playing around with the idea of robotics in the data center and 2 years ago I spent a good 6 months diving into subject.  Some of the design concepts I figured out would not be intuitive for someone who doesn't understand the way data centers are built and the economics.   

One example of an issue is mentioned in the DCK article on the ability to go up in height.

Grow vertically instead of just horizontally. Robotics allows the data center to be extremely efficient with space. After all, robotics will allow us to reach higher and go much further than we’ve been ever able to go. The ability to scale upwards allows data centers to create new designs utilizing floor space much more efficiently.

Anyone who has built data centers and operated them knows a good rule is to have 100-150 watts/sq ft of IT white space.  Any denser increases costs and increases the probability of stranding power.  Going higher is going to cause more heat problems as well as the top of rack equipment could be 2-3 degrees warmer.

It is nice to see the robotics in data center ideas is getting more attention.  When I was talking about the idea two years ago people thought I was really out there. :-)  I was going to write more on the topic, but only threw up two posts.  /gdcblog/category/robotics.  Well, this is the third.