EMI in Dat­a­cen­ters

Many IT equip­ments see ma­li­cious at­tacks on their im­mu­nity due to high power EMI Mal­func­tions and sys­tem crash are also two ma­jor threats to in­for­ma­tion se­cu­rity

Dataquest - - CONTENTS - (The au­thor is Founder, Bright­sandz Clean­Tech)

World pop­u­la­tion is mov­ing to­wards in­no­va­tion backed by tech­nol­ogy. All tech­nol­ogy gi­ants and start up com­pa­nies are lead­ing the way with in­vest­ments and de­ploy­ments in ma­jor tech­nolo­gies such as Blockchain, Au­to­ma­tion, AI, IoT among oth­ers. The ad­vent of such tech­nolo­gies are chang­ing the en­tire way of com­mu­ni­cat­ing and re­triev­ing in­for­ma­tion from wire­less per­sonal and portable hand­held ter­mi­nals.

The emerg­ing trend of such tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ments is giv­ing rise to an in­creased data con­sump­tion and in­ter­net de­pen­dency. Ar­ti­fi­cial In­tel­li­gence, IoT and other con­nected de­vices re­quire high data us­age and net­works due to their reg­u­lar trans­mis­sion of small amount of data.

Gi­gan­tic data net­works are sup­ported by a mind-buzzing in­fras­truc­ture of servers – com­puter rooms, server rooms and data cen­ters. In­dia is one of the key sup­port sys­tems to this equa­tion and is grad­u­at­ing to be­come the

data cen­tre cap­i­tal of the world. Ac­cord­ing to the In­ter­net and Mo­bile As­so­ci­a­tion of In­dia, the cur­rent In­dian data cen­ter mar­ket is val­ued at $2.2 bil­lion which is ex­pected to be­come $4.5 bil­lion by 2018.

It is also be­lieved that ev­ery tech­no­log­i­cal de­vice or trend that comes with pros is al­ways known to have some cons at­tached to it. Sim­i­larly, the server rooms or data cen­ters have a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment and hu­man body. Data cen­tres use between 1.1% to 1.5% of global elec­tric­ity at an es­ti­mate of 28.6 bil­lion watts (2014 es­ti­mate). Its in­fras­truc­ture is ex­pected to grow at 20-30% an­nu­ally over next few years. As per es­ti­mates, one Google search is equiv­a­lent to turn­ing on a 60W light bulb for 17 sec­onds.

Data Cen­tres re­quire very high power and cur­rent flow which re­sults in higher Elec­tro­mag­netic field. EMF ra­di­a­tion is also known to be as one of the ma­jor fac­tors af­fect­ing the per­for­mance of a data cen­ter.

A data cen­ter plays an es­sen­tial role in the work­ing of or­gan­i­sa­tions by fa­cil­i­tat­ing them with re­mote stor­age, pro­cess­ing and dis­tri­bu­tion of large amount of data. The in­ter­fer­ence by Elec­tro­mag­netic fields is ex­tremely harm­ful for IT equip­ments and data cen­ter en­vi­ron­ment. The Elec­tro­mag­netic field in­ter­fer­ence (EMI) dis­turbs the nor­mal func­tion­ing of an elec­tronic de­vice.

Higher level of EMI re­sults in more dis­as­trous ef­fects on IT equip­ments such as shaky mon­i­tor screens and un­ex­plained data er­rors. The prob­lems aris­ing from EMI are not usu­ally solved by stan­dard trou­bleshoot­ing. Prob­lems like un­planned down­time can af­fect the en­tire user com­pany with loss of pro­duc­tiv­ity and mon­e­tary losses. Any­one work­ing in the com­pany from an en­try level em­ployee to the CEO can be af­fected badly due to un­avail­abil­ity of busi­ness in­for­ma­tion.

EMI at low fre­quency caused by power sources has harm­ful ef­fects on the hard­ware. It cor­rupts server data or erases the en­tire hard disk. In many cases, EMI causes ma­jor threats to in­for­ma­tion se­cu­rity. Many IT equip­ments see ma­li­cious at­tacks on their im­mu­nity due to high power EMI Mal­func­tions and sys­tem crash are also two ma­jor threats to in­for­ma­tion se­cu­rity.

EMI has be­come a se­ri­ous con­cern while set­ting up a data cen­tre. It has a di­rect im­pact on em­ploy­ees’ pro­duc­tiv­ity due to in­ac­ces­si­bil­ity to ba­sic e-mails and in­ter­net ser­vices.

More­over, ex­ces­sive EMI also af­fects data trans­mis­sion process due to full net­work util­i­sa­tion. When data is trans­mit­ted into pack­ets, each packet con­tains source, in­for­ma­tion and des­ti­na­tion. When er­rors oc­cur due to high EMI, th­ese data pack­ets lose their se­quence and some in­for­ma­tion is dropped in between the process. High level of EMI can also cor­rupt the en­tire data packet which is be­ing sent due to the in­duc­tion of volt­ages on net­work ca­bles and de­vices. There­fore, EMI hin­ders the abil­ity of re­mote re­ceivers to suc­cess­fully de­tect data pack­ets.

Apart from de­graded trans­mis­sion qual­ity, EMI also leads to higher net­work traf­fic due to re­trans­mis­sion of data pack­ets and net­work con­ges­tion.

In or­der to re­duce such haz­ardous ef­fects of EMI on data cen­tres, many tech start-up com­pa­nies are com­ing up with pro­tec­tion de­vices and ac­ces­sories. Shield­ing prod­ucts have also be­come one of the very ef­fec­tive meth­ods to avoid the im­pact of EMI on data cen­tres. It is now rec­om­mended to con­sider the ways of shield­ing while de­sign­ing a data cen­tre. This not only helps in keep­ing your data se­cure but also re­duces the pro­duc­tiv­ity loss of the per­son­nel ex­posed to Elec­tro­mag­netic ra­di­a­tion.

EMI causes ma­jor threats to in­for­ma­tion se­cu­rity. Many IT equip­ments see ma­li­cious at­tacks on their im­mu­nity due to high power EMI Mal­func­tions and sys­tem crash are also two ma­jor threats to in­for­ma­tion se­cu­rity

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