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If we consider that a date centre shutdown could cost up to $ 2,800,000 per hour in the case of bank servers, or $ 2,000,000 in the case of communications, we can understand why data centre managers are not ready to take on certain risks by, in most cases renouncing greater energy efficiency by maintaining temperatures between 20 and 22 ºC.
This is why The Green Grid recently published a study that lays the blame on the majority of data centre managers for continuing to work in an archaic fashion with respect to cooling.
The Green Grid publication reminds us of the studies prepared by ASHRAE in recent years on temperature and humidity guides at a data centre. During the period 2004- 2008 this made two distinctions of the permitted and the recommended. However, since then the permitted has acquired a series of specifications for different classes of data centres (A1, A2, A3, A4, B, C), the humidity and temperatures ranges of which are different. For example, the last one has a permitted temperature range from 5 to 40 ºC. From this study, it can be concluded that a data centre may continue to operate efficiently if the managers consider wider humidity and temperature ranges, thus obtaining reduced cooling costs. This reduction does not require any great technological investment, but better management instead. There are various practices for abandoning the archaic management of a data centre apart from increasing humidity and temperature ranges. As we are advised in The Green Grid, it is important to emphasise proactive practices because these are the one that will lead to an efficient data centre without any large investment.
1- Regular maintenance and inspections
- Equipment cooling capacity
- Installing sensors in strategic positions for taking humidity and temperature readings on both ambient and rack levels
- Good management and maintenance of the upper level
2- Installing blind panels
3- Eliminating leaks
Data centre management technologies are becoming increasingly advanced because of their growing demand. Of all the data centre management factors, cooling was the one that received least attention from the managers at the beginning, but lately it has been gaining in importance. This fact is curious if we take into account that the total cost for a data centre, about 40% is for air-conditioning.
If we leave archaic practices to one side and carry out more proactive management, we can achieve higher efficiency without having to take on higher risks.