Data Center Cooling Requires Future-Ready Flexibility

A new white paper from Data Aire explains why fluidity in business and global economies requires future-ready flexibility, especially as relates to data center cooling.

Data center Cooling

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“In all cooling applications where significant change can be expected for a building’s usage, future-ready flexibility is a foremost concern,” according to a new white paper from Data Aire. Data centers must have the capacity for growth as digital transformations drive an increased demand for remote connectivity. Processing-intensive applications like artificial intelligence, advanced data analysis, and data monitoring also mean data center customers need more resources. “As a result, each rack consumes more energy and generates more heat, which puts more pressure on cooling systems. In short, higher densities per rack require more cooling.”

The authors look at key data center cooling scalability factors that data centers must address, including airflow management. They note that “when it comes to air- or water-cooled technologies, there’s not much difference as it relates to airflow management.”

“Rising energy costs already represent a significant part of operating expense. This will increase as densities are only likely to grow.” – Data Aire, Cooling Guidance for Data Center Density, Efficiency and Economy of Scale.

The white paper also notes that “design decisions are not always easy and straightforward” due the number of cooling products on the market and complex and varied location issues. The paper explains five key factors that will often influence data center cooling design choices including water availability, operational complexity, ambient conditions, and economization / indirect free cooling. Sustainability is also key and the paper notes that “though water-cooled technologies provide lower PUE ratings over air-cooled technologies, higher water consumption rates pose a serious challenge to sustainability efforts.”

The authors conclude the paper with a discussion of some of the major concerns around higher-density racks and higher density at scale. Eric Jenson, vice president and general manager of Data Aire is quoted in the white paper as saying, “you have to satisfy the need for scalability, and higher-density cooling loads are still achievable in the same kinds of traditional ways.”



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