Dell, Inc. (Dell) will use 6SigmaDC software suite of Future Facilities Limited (Future Facilities) to design and simulate its data centers. The new software maximizes space utilization and energy efficiency through the optimal configuration and placement of IT hardware, racks, cabinets and power and cooling equipment. The integration of new software with data center consulting practice improves data center performance and reduces energy consumption.

The main output of 6SigmaDC is the Virtual Facility, a full and mathematically precise 3-D representation of the data center which facilitates a holistic approach to the design and ongoing thermal and asset management of data center space. The Virtual Facility enables the owner or operator to take a proactive approach to the placement and replacement of equipment within facilities, modeling impacts before any physical deployments are undertaken.

Dell and Future Facilities are the first companies to use the Virtual Facility concept for provisioning computing requirements and ensuring the optimal configuration and placement of equipment. By taking a proactive approach to design, Dell and Future Facilities can alleviate the need to trouble-shoot layout issues after facilities are built or changes have been made.

Dell and Future Facilities expect to save companies capital and operational expenditures through optimal data center designs that help companies improve energy efficiency and avoid the wasteful over-provisioning of space, power and cooling.

Future Facilities 6SimgaDC and the Virtual Facility:

Virtual Facility (VF) is a full 3-dimensional mathematical representation of the physical data center at any point in time. At the design stage it can simulate and validate engineering assumptions such as optimal floor void depths, rack layouts, power distribution, air handler positioning and redundancy assessments.

Once in operation, VF provides a full, 3-D inventory of all data center equipment with visualization of temperature distribution and airflow at room and cabinet level. IT departments can then preview future equipment deployment and evaluate the thermal/environmental impact of various deployment scenarios, enabling power, cooling and space constraints to be managed to maximize ROI and minimize risk.

6SigmaRoom evaluates data center design during the early and detailed design stages via experimentation with different equipment layouts and configurations.

6SigmaRack analyzes and optimizes rack layouts beyond installation.

6SigmaManager maintains and manages facilities throughout their lifetime.

6SigmaPower assesses the data center power network at any point in time.

6SigmaViewer lets designers share the facility they have created with others such as facilities executives.

Dell Data Center Optimization Services:

By applying best practices in data center design, layout and configuration, Dell helps customers exploit unused capacity in existing data centers to avoid the significant capital expenditure of building a new data center.

Assessment: Dell’s Energy Smart Data Center Assessment uses Computational Fluid Dynamics modeling to analyze existing power and cooling infrastructure, find inefficiencies, and provide actionable recommendations that help companies meet computing requirements without exceeding existing power and cooling limitations.

Design: Data Center Conceptual Design is a three-to 12-week engagement to optimize an existing facility or design a new data center to meet a company’s growing needs. The hands-on work sessions present options for solutions based on priorities, constraints and budget. Deliverables include basis of design, bill of materials, budget estimates and a project schedule.

Consolidation: Dell helps customers consolidate facilities and migrate hundreds or thousands of servers and applications to reduce the numbers of data centers they need to run their business.

Platform Optimization and Virtualization: Dell designs, plans and implements end-to-end virtualization solutions and automates the physical to virtual migration process so that customers can run fewer servers to save space and power and cooling in their data centers. In addition, Dell also migrates proprietary Unix platforms to open solutions on x86 hardware that allow customers to simplify and save.

Storage Consolidation: Dell helps customers right-size and tier their storage infrastructures to reduce cost and complexity.


“Every data center has its own DNA– no two are alike,” said Hassan Moezzi, chief executive officer of Future Facilities. “Together, Dell and Future Facilities are taking the guesswork out of designing them for efficiency and better energy consumption using computational modeling to layout, test and validate performance and to maximize that performance over time.”

“Our consultants will use Future Facilities’ tools to design data centers from the ‘inside out’ and use the power and thermal efficiency of Dell systems to create reliable, energy-efficient, green data centers that enable our customers to compute more and consume less,” said Tim Webb, director of Dell’s Infrastructure Consulting Practice.