It is Time to Think about Additional Cooling Choices for Open Compute Challenge Information Centers


The Open Compute Challenge is a topic desire in IT circles, as the reference architecture for data centers give the prospective to provide successful, flexible and scalable compute electricity at a somewhat reduced charge. But due to the fact Fb initially announced the architecture in 2011, a single spot has nevertheless to be revisited: cooling.

As Fb initially envisioned it for its Prineville, Ore. data center, the architecture employs immediate air economization for cooling. That is effective perfectly in cooler climates like Oregon, where you can normally consider benefit of interesting outdoors air. But if consumers look at more cooling alternatives, they’ll locate they are equipped to build OCP-compliant data centers in other, a great deal hotter climates, as perfectly as make improvements to overall performance and minimize chance.

Indirect air economizer cooling, for instance, tremendously extends the geographies in which air economizer modes of cooling can be employed. With indirect air economizer cooling, a heat exchanger is employed to isolate indoor from out of doors air.  This acts as a barrier in between the indoor and out of doors environments, so you are not as inclined to humidity stages outdoors, as a result enabling the economizer to run a lot more hours to get the advantage of greater efficiency.

When blended with evaporative cooling you can further extend the hours of procedure by leveraging the wet bulb temperature even on humid times to provide partial cooling, that means you don’t have to have colder ambient temperatures to convey the data center to an satisfactory temperature. The moment again, you get a lot more hours of economizer use more than the program of the calendar year, as a result growing total efficiency.

What is a lot more, with immediate units, there is usually a prospect that poor air good quality or large humidity conditions – this sort of as from a fire or a thunderstorm – would lead to you to have to change the economizer off. That usually means you have to have to dimensions the cooling compressor this sort of that it can tackle 100% of the data center load if necessary. With an indirect air economizer, since you are minimizing that chance of air contamination and separating out of doors air from inside, you only have to have a compressor that can support you get by the hottest times of the calendar year, conserving you funds on funds costs.

And those people incredibly hot times may perhaps be less than you imagine. The OCP specifies data center running temperatures in the range of 65° to 85° F. The strategy was basically to match data center temperature to whatsoever the temperature outdoors is. If it’s interesting more than enough outdoors to operate at 65° F, then wonderful. If not, it’s Alright to enable the temperature rise to as a great deal as 85° F. The strategy is to not use more energy make the data center any cooler than 85° F if you don’t have to.

ASHRAE TC 9.9 a number of a long time ago published the third edition of its Thermal Pointers for Information Processing Environments which outlined server reliability fees at different temperatures. The upshot was that servers, specifically newer ones, can tackle running temperatures considerably greater than most data centers were making use of at the time, and almost certainly still.

What is a lot more, we now know that in phrases of reliability, running IT gear at cooler temperatures offsets the periods when you operate at greater temps, an difficulty I protected in this former post. So, if you are in a cooler local weather and can operate at, say 65° F at periods throughout the wintertime, that will offset the hours you operate at 85°F in the summertime.

The point is, if you are intrigued in the OCP data center architecture, don’t restrict oneself to the immediate air economization explained in the recommendations. You’ve now acquired much better alternatives, notably indirect air economization. (Schneider Electric can support in that regard, with the new Ecoflair Air Economizer).

To learn a lot more about the topic, look at out our free white paper no. 215, “Choosing In between Direct and Indirect Air Economization for Information Centers.” It’ll be truly worth your whilst, since there is actual funds to be saved on your data center cooling tab. Also, attempt the Economizer Mode PUE Calculator and see what is effective ideal for your data center.



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