Thursday, 4 February 2016

New data center cooling systems to focus on energy efficiency

Data centers is a centralised facility for an organization’s IT operations and equipment where it stores, manages and disseminated its data and information concerning the functioning of the daily operations of the organisation or any particular business process. Data centers consist of network’s most critical systems and it is crucial that these data centers must remain cool so that the processors can function effectively and efficiently. To achieve this purpose of cooling, there must be a provision for effective data centers cooling system which would prevent the loss of data and discontinued flow of information thereby hindering the day to day business operations.

The exponential growth of data both structured and unstructured along with the continuing adoption for cloud computing is a key factor driving the demand for setting massive data centers. This would obviously require efficient and power-friendly data center cooling systems. Over the decade, there has been innovation in data center cooling, with large operators trying to achieve energy efficiency in their design of data center cooling systems.

 All data cooling centers must conform to the guidelines issued by ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers) for “allowable” and “recommended” temperature and humidity of data centers. This will help the servers to run optimally and prevent data from getting lost and regulate the continued flow of information in organizations.

Choosing the right cooling systems would increase the efficiency of the servers in the IT department and would also help contain the IT budget within a suitable limit. There are many techniques, some advanced enough for the purpose while some are only partially developed and all the methods are integrated for devising more effective approach to data center cooling systems.

One of the methods is containment which can be either partial or total. The method is based on similar lines to hot aisle/cold aisle concept wherein the ends of the rows are blocked by doors or plastic curtains. In partial containment, only the ends of the hot/cold aisle is blocked and the method is considered to be only 80% effective.

Total containment if used as an isolated process can be illegal and also fatal since it can block water dispersion or gas based fire suppression thus making the prevention of a fire outbreak in the chamber difficult. To address to this problem, it is recommended to install sprinkler and/or inert gas heads. Another alternative method is to erect barriers that can be electrically dropped as soon as the smoke is detected in the compartment. It is worthwhile to note that all U.S.-based operations is required to conform to the NFPA-75 Fire Protection Standard for the process of containment.

Power usage effectiveness (PUE) a metric created by members of the Green Grid, an industry group focused on data center energy efficiency, is used to determine the energy efficiency of a data center. As it is the reciprocal of data center infrastructure efficiency. Organizations looking to expand their IT infrastructure must look for ascertaining a high PUE for asserting power usage effectiveness.

DigiPlex wins has recently won DCD EMEA award in the category of Enterprise Data Center for designing Evry Fetsund facility in Norway, based on these lines. With a PUE of 1.1, DigiPlex designed the data center as two independent halves, which are inherently linked so that data replication or mirroring can be easily done and the entire complex is scheduled to be completed by April this year. Recently, Allied Market Research has added a report titled “World Data Center Cooling Market - Opportunities and Forecasts, 2013 – 2020”, according to which data center cooling market is expected to reach $11.65 Billion, globally, by 2020.

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