Data Center Cooling Made Simple

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COOLING: Grab the low-hanging fruit

It’s well established that many data centers are running out of space, power and cooling, but where do we get started to reclaim some of these valuable commodities. While I don’t have a lot fancy acronyms after my title that few people understand, my mother raised me to have a healthy dose of common sense. (My wife might say otherwise, but that’s a different blog.) So, why not start with the low hanging fruit? Short of redesigning the data center or moving to a different space, picking the low hanging fruit makes sense, right?

But what is the low hanging fruit?

• Rearranging the floor plan to gain space? – Nope! That just increases the heat density and creates potential hot spots and cooling issues. Not a horrible idea, but obviously not the low hanging fruit.

• Buy and install a more efficient UPS system? Again, not a bad idea but it doesn’t address the cooling or space issues and it doesn’t feel like low hanging fruit (although I’m not really sure WHAT low hanging fruit feels like – this isn’t it)

• Buy and install some simple, low cost products to keep the cold air cold and the hot air hot? Let see… SIMPLE? LOW COST? Makes the cooling system more efficient AND reduces the electric bill – seems like a reasonable place to start.

How simple is simple? Here are just a couple product suggestions:

• Install Blanking Panels – I can’t tell you the number of places I walk through that have cooling/heat problems that don’t use these. Buy them in 1RU increments or scored sheets to make changes easy. For just a couple bucks per RU you can expect to save 1-2% on the electric bill.

• Mind the Gap (no, I’m not British) – Depending on who you listen to 50-80% of cooling can be lost to bypass air or short cycling. Stop the leaks in the raised floor with products like raised floor grommets

You don’t have to feel like you’re building a space shuttle from spare kitchen parts to get started reclaiming some space, power or cooling. Keep it simple and low cost.

Chime in on these products or other simple solutions you have used to improve your cooling.

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