Data Centers

How High Density Data Centre Environments Give a Competitive Edge with Interactive's Ben Richards

With business becoming more competitive than ever before, organizations need to be savvy in the way they manage their data center resources to stay ahead of the game.

High density colocation is an increasingly popular solution in the Data Center Industry, with a single high density rack able to support power usage up to 32kW - this is three times the amount of power supplied by a standard colocation rack.

More power per rack means that data center resources such as compute and networking can be grouped close together, enabling efficiency in terms of the cost and resources required to run workloads.

To get to grips with how businesses can achieve greater efficiency with high density colocation, we sat down with Interactive’s National Data Center Manager, Ben Richards, who explores what this data center solution has to offer.

Rising demand for high density solutions in the data center


In pursuit of an efficient colocation solution, enterprises around the world are turning to high density data centers to manage their digital operations.

“More than ever before, customers are asking us for solutions that support high density compute to support their applications that benefit from having resources close together,” says Ben Richards, National Data Center Manager, Interactive.

“In the last six months alone, Interactive has deployed several high density deployments enabling customers to scale up to 32kW,” he says.

Our customers are looking to reduce network hops to minimise latency and achieve cost savings by running data center resources close together. 

In fact, according to AFCOM’s 2020 State of the Data Center report, average rack density increased by nearly an entire kilowatt (kW) from the previous year, reaching 8.2kW up from 7.2kW in 2019.

The effects of the pandemic have also contributed to the uptake in high density compute in the last twelve months, according to Richards who says that the downturn experienced by businesses has caused “a rethink around data center costs and how greater efficiency can be achieved.”

High density compute ensuring cost- and resource-efficiency

Businesses are always looking to maximize their efficiency to remain competitive in the marketplace, and Richards believes that high density compute can provide just that.

“Firstly, having all compute deployed as closely together as possible reduces complexity on the network side,” he says, as fewer network switches are required and shorter cable runs can enable direct cabling between cabinets in the data center.

Richards has found that many customers opt for high density solutions so they can easily deploy many servers as close together as possible to eliminate network hops, therefore minimizing latency which, he says, “can be the difference between your business winning and losing.”

“A high density deployment also reduces a business’ footprint in the data centre,” he adds, meaning that security cages can be smaller, requiring less rackspace and supporting equipment, like Power Distribution Units.

Without having to pay for these additional services and equipment, customers are able to obtain significant cost savings by compactly storing their workloads in high density colocation environments.

The future of high density data centres

With efficiency remaining key for many businesses around the world, there is no doubt that high density colocation will continue to be a critical part of business’ network strategy.

“We are seeing strong demand in the market right now, and we certainly expect to see it continue,” Richards says.

Evolving network services and technologies could be largely responsible for the future adoption of high density solutions, with more and more major server vendors offering higher-powered capacity rack units for their data center customers.

Interactive is currently delivering higher density solutions of up to 32kW to support the ever-increasing workloads of today’s data-driven businesses.

AFCOM’s 2021 report revealed that up to 62% of global respondents are shifting their focus from acquiring more data center space to increasing the density of the racks they already have, which will propel demand even further for high density solutions in the years to come.

Ultimately, as business decisions continue to revolve around accumulating volumes of data and reducing network latency, there’s no doubt that high density colocation will be a critical component of many businesses’ network strategy.

Efficiency will always be key across the business landscape, and data center solutions like those at Interactive, will be utilised by companies who want to thrive and remain competitive.

Want to know more?

Want to know more about how to connect with Interactive and become more cost- and resource-efficient? Visit Interactive on Cloudscene or contact our team of experts at Cloudscene for assistance with your next project.

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Contributor: Ben Richards, National Data Centre Manager, Interactive



Ben Richards, Interactive
Ben Richards, Interactive


Ben has experience leading high performance teams responsible for deploying and supporting infrastructure services that are part of Australia’s critical infrastructure. At Interactive he is responsible for managing our six owned facilities and our space in those of our partners NextDC, Equinix and Polaris - ensuring best practice operations and a high level of service for our Data Center and Business Continuity customers.

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