The World's Most Efficient Data Center? - Page 3

Julius Neudorfer
Of course not all organizations are comfortable with the concept of direct intake of outside air. Taking that one step further, in order to make the claim of a PUE of 1.05, HP allows the temperature in the 'cold' aisle to rise to 87�F before engaging the DX cooling units. Moreover, the PUE claim of 1.05 is based on a UPS in the "eco-mode," which is essentially operating like a line-interactive unit and can switch to the more typical double conversion mode UPS normally found in a tier-3 data center. This is not to say that you can't order and choose to operate the EcoPOD in a more conservative condition, just don't expect a PUE of 1.05.

HP is one of the best manufacturers when it comes to openly providing detailed technical information on its IT equipment and the EcoPOD is no exception.

Here is a snapshot from the interactive view of the EcoPOD:

As can be seen from this cross-sectional view and temperature scale, the outside air is brought by a set of fans into the top of the cold aisles and is extracted from the center hot aisle by another set of fans. If the temperature exceeds the 87�F then the DX cooling units are brought online to maintain temperature and humidity. In order to save maximum amount of energy, the EcoPOD also has a very broad humidity range: 20 percent - 80 percent RH. HP claims that even in full DX cooling mode the PUE is only 1.3.

Some in the industry may dismiss this and say this is not a data center and that it is a just a very hot metal box holding racks. But a closer examination is warranted. While 58�F - 87�F and 20 percent - 80 percent RH is beyond ASHRAE TC 9.9's "recommended" class-1 envelope (64.4�F-80.6�F), it is within the "allowable" envelope (59�F - 95�F). If you are not already aware, the Third Edition of TC 9.9 guidelines will be released shortly and it is oriented toward a much wider operating envelope and focused on promoting energy efficiency via the expanded use of air-side economizers and data centers with little or no mechanical cooling. Not everyone will choose to operate their EcoPOD that way and HP's eco-control system can also be set to operate within the ASHRAE 'recommended' envelope or even the traditional 68-72�F 'meat locker' mode, but, of course, at the expense of energy efficiency.

The Bottom Line

So is this a developing trend in the industry or just a niche market?  EcoPOD may just be one more offering reflecting the new data center paradigm shift, oriented toward rapid delivery of standardized computing building blocks. It also may help legitimize and accelerate the broader acceptance of a wider environmental operating envelope and the use of more 'free cooling' by utilizing outside air to save energy.  So if you are not going to migrate your enterprise directly to a cloud computing service provider, or even perhaps if you are considering becoming a cloud service provider overnight, the HP EcoPOD or other types of modular pre-fabricated data center building blocks may just fit into your computing plans.

On the other hand, conventional but mega-sized data centers, offering colo, managed services and hosting operations using more moderate densities and traditional environmental conditions are still being built at an unbelievable rate.

So place your bets, or perhaps consider hedging them with the EcoPOD.



Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Jun 15, 2011 3:06 PM Anonymous Anonymous  says:
Even if there were no lights, no mechanical cooling or air movement equipment then surely the UPS inefficiency or transformer inefficiency alone would account for more than 3% of the useful load (dataload). It is quite unprofessional to promote figures like this without listing the details in the article- shame on the HP for allowing this and shame on the jornalist for not challenging the data provided. A bigger question exists though.........when will we see PUE figures less than 1.0 because the waste heat has been recovered and set to use for neighbouring business or community needs? Click here to see how Reply
Jun 23, 2011 12:06 PM Anonymous Anonymous  says:
This is specifically what i was looking for. thanks for your time for the educational article and keep up the very good work! onlineticketspot Reply
Dec 14, 2011 4:12 PM Anonymous Anonymous  says:
Not a good partner - read the article of thier CEO and Owners... Reply
Dec 14, 2011 4:12 PM Anonymous Anonymous  says:
This green data center partner og HP is not good... Stay clear, here Ted Reply

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