Future Facilities: DC Simulation In Virtual Reality?


Forget the gaming industry, Jon Leppard, director at Future Facilities discusses the possibilities when it comes to data centre simulation in Virtual Reality. 

VR is already recognised as a technology with the potential to revolutionise a plethora of industries. Whilst the VR’s biggest impact thus far has arguably been within the entertainment and gaming industries, its development into a transformative technology has opened doors to sectors as diverse as healthcare and hospitality. But most importantly, its potential for the data centre industry is as yet largely untapped.

We first recognised the huge scope that Virtual Reality offers for shaping the future of data centre simulation whilst observing the reaction of one of our developers, Bo Xia, as he was immersed in a data centre environment through an Oculus Rift headset.

After walking down the aisles, looking at live power consumption and watching simulated airflows, he took off the headset and delivered his verdict with a huge grin: “Amazing!”.

Everyone we have delivered the Rift experience to has had this reaction, despite a healthy level of initial skepticism. But VR offers complete freedom to explore the DC environment as you please – even beyond normal human limitations.

For instance, VR can offer you a bird’s eye view or even a deep dive into inaccessible areas of a data centre ecosystem, as well as allowing you to visualise airflow and temperature profiles as if you were standing in front of a cabinet. Given the fluidity and immediacy of this experience, it is clear that VR will have a profound effect on the way we interact with our data centres.

The shift towards larger cloud data centres supported by a discretised network of hundreds – or even thousands – of remote edge sites represents a significant management challenge. And VR is perfectly suited to bridge the gap: It provides remote engineers with the tools to predict the impact of change, no matter how small, to these sites without having to physically visit them individually.

The future of data centres is embarking on an exciting journey towards higher demand, local edge connectivity and a fully-connected IoT world. Are you interested in finding out more about the future role that VR will play in this? You can do so here.

Alternatively, why not join us from 6pm at the Churchill War Rooms on Wednesday 4th October to hear from current users about how simulation is being used at every stage of the data centre lifecycle?