The Pros and Cons of Unmanned Data Centers: Is It the Right Choice for You?

Unmanned data centres may sound like something out of a science fiction movie, but they already exist. With advances in technology, it is likely that they will become more common in the future. Running a data centre without staff on-site, also known as a “lights out” facility is predicted to become more prominent in coming years.

What is an Unammed Data Centre?

An unmanned data centre, also known as a “lights out” data centre, is a facility that operates without any personnel on-site. Typically, data centres do not require many technicians for maintenance. However, a conventional data centre usually has a few staff members present to handle tasks such as overseeing power and HVAC systems.

In an unmanned facility, there are no staff on-site during normal operations. However, personnel might occasionally visit the facility to perform maintenance. The day-to-day operations are fully automated, and the data centre can go for weeks or even months without any human intervention.

Navigating the World of Unmanned Data Centres: Benefits and Challenges

Unmanned data centres are beneficial because they help in saving money. As there is no need for physical staff presence, these facilities are less expensive to operate. Moreover, these data centres are designed to provide high reliability and resiliency. Architects planning conventional data centres may not emphasize the ability of HVAC, power, and other systems to recover automatically from failure, assuming that humans will be around to fix things. However, in unmanned facilities, reliability is a top priority, reducing the risk of potential failures.

On the other hand, unmanned data centres can be more expensive to design and build due to their need for advanced self-management capabilities, which are not required in traditional data centres.

Future of Unmanned Data Centres

Although there aren’t many lights-out data centres currently in operation, there is a great deal of motivation for more businesses to utilise unmanned facilities. Unmanned operating expenses can be lower after an initially high start-up cost, while also making it easier for more businesses to deploy data centres at the edge or in locations with benefits such as easy access to renewable energy.


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