Someone send me this Dilbert* strip yesterday. Data Center is in such high demand even Dilbert is building one. He was having trouble getting power to run the DC with air conditioning. He thought the servers would melt to a toxic bomb. I think he might be happy to know that he could actually run servers without air conditioning in a data center and he wouldn’t need to turn the DC into a museum.
Last year Don Atwood, a regional DC manager in Intel, has done a proof of concept (PoC) to challenge industry assumption in DC cooling by running a high density DC with only a air economizer and no air conditioner. In the PoC, Don ran two DC modules in parallel – one with traditional air conditioner as control; one with air economizer as the POC test. After 10 months, other than dusty servers in the POC module, there was virtually not side effect found on the 900 servers in the air economizer module. The hardware failure rate in both modules was similar, contrary to many would have believed. The biggest finding from the experiment was that we were able to reduce 67% energy consumption for DC cooling comparing with traditional data center cooling approach. Not only the reduction in energy consumption contributed to the IT sustainability programs, we also estimated using this new approach in a large 10-MW data center would save US$2.87 million annually (based on cost of $0.08 per KWH).
Have you try running your DC without air conditioning? Do you have any other innovative way in saving energy consumptions and cost in your data centers?
* Names and brands are properties of their respective owners