Saturday, October 13, 2007

A Fresh Look at Datacenter Power, Cooling, and Cabling

Al Riske has written a "Contrarian Minds" article for Sun, "Not Rocket Science - A Fresh Look at Datacenter Power, Cooling, and Cabling". Dean Nelson, Director of Global Lab and Datacenter Design Services for Sun. shares many insights:
You get more compute per watt but you also have more watts per rack, and those numbers are going to continue to increase," he says. "So we're actually building the products that cause an increase in heat. If we can't solve that in our own house, how can we expect our customers solve it?"


The legacy thinking of power, cooling, cabling — how we used to do it — just doesn't work anymore. A raised floor and forced air? You can't properly cool stuff that way, because as you get higher in load — 4 kilowatts, 8 kilowatts, 10 kilowatts, and greater per rack — you just can't get the cooling where you need it. Air is coming up the vents, but you can't specify that this rack is 2 kilowatts and that one is 4 kilowatts, so you have hot spots all over the place."

By consolidating into fewer, energy efficient datacenters, and compressing 152 datacenters (202,000 square feet) at various California locations into 14 new centers (76,000 square feet) in Santa Clara, Sun was able to reduce real estate costs by 88% and power consumption by 60% for a saving of $860k in the first 9 months.

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