Monday, May 11, 2015

COOLing why Data Center temperature is still so cool?

Maybe you have heard or you have said. The airflow temperature must remain 16oC-18oC  in my data centre, I do not want to take any risk of downtime or IT equipment alarm notification. I want to sleep as baby and having such temperature is OK!

The objections to set point 1oC up are several:

  • we have done always this way!
  • we do not want a IT equipment crash
  • DCs must be cool
  • Downtime will enhance business risk
  • equipment will alarm and shutdown and a lot more

Ron Vokun ( gave us two years ago "good reasons" to avoid going up in heat:

 1. Thermal Ride-Through Time
 2. Concern Over Higher Failure Rates and Performance Issues
 3. Cultural Norms and Inertia
 4. Intolerable Work Environment
 5. Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt (FUD)/Ignorance
 6. Colocation Data Centers Have To Be All Things To All People
 7. Some HVAC Equipment Can’t Handle Higher Return Air Temperatures
    They are still -maybe you can enhance this list- GOOD reasons to waste energy and let the equipment run in a cool space.

I think that most of them are a mirror of #3  and in some cases #5; why I say this? Because we are animals of 2old" customs we feel comfortable not changing what we know or what we have learnt.

Three weeks ago I got a training of  COOLing & ENErgy and I asked to one VP which guys are the more reluctant to adopt new changes -in COOLING parameters-

He said quickly "young engineers are the more difficult to convince ,....."  of course the "olds scholars" like me -mid 50s- we really are more proactive to get a quick change  -controlled/monitored/slower-   maybe because our lifetime & working time is shorter.

In any case if you are a DESigner / CONstruction / OPERator in DCs industry ask yourself (document of course) if your facility can take the chance to evaluate seriously if you are willing to increase ONE grade the temperature in your computer hall.

Or what do you think?

roberto sanchez, RCDD, ACx


1 comment:

  1. My biggest concern is not so much the temperature but the effect of air speed in a hotter environment. To a point - and I'm not sure what that is yet - you can increase the data centre temperatures as long as the air speed is still adequate to deliver a cooling effect. Problems occur in data centres when CRAC's fail, for example during a power loss. The UPS usually only maintain power to the processing, storage and network hardware, so they carry on generating heat whilst the air speed has disappeared. Temperatures increase rapidly and in some cases a UPS would be utilised in shutting down systems, not keeping them running. The lower the temperature in the data centre at a point of the CRAC's failing enables a greater time before equipment overheats. It's a gamble, do you go for short term savings on energy costs with higher data centre temperature or longer term possible total loss.