10 Steps to Increasing Data Center Efficiency and Availability - Slide 2

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One of the most significant consequences of the growth in data center density and complexity is the issue of heat density. As data center density has increased, cooling loads have grown and become more heterogeneous. It is no longer possible to manage temperatures on a facility level because rack densities may vary widely, creating hot spots in one zone while another zone is cooled below the desired temperature.

Installing a network of temperature sensors across the data center helps ensure that all equipment is operating within the ASHRAE recommended temperature range (64.4° F to 80.6° F). By sensing temperatures at multiple locations the airflow and cooling capacity of the precision cooling units can be more precisely controlled, resulting in more efficient operation.

Additionally, the network of sensors can reduce cooling costs by allowing safe operation closer to the upper end of the temperature range—operating, for example, at 75° F instead of 65° F. According to an ASHRAE paper developed by Emerson Network Power, a 10° F increase in server inlet temperatures results in a 30 percent reduction in compressor power draw. Assuming the Computer Room Air Conditioning (CRAC) units supporting the facility are equipped with digital or unloading compressors, this reduction in compressor power draw translates into a 21 percent reduction in cooling energy costs.

The best practice is to attach at least one sensor on every rack, and it is also acceptable to place a sensor on every other rack when racks are arranged in the hot aisle/cold aisle configuration, and there is uniform loading across the row. Sensors should be located near the top of the rack where temperatures are generally highest. It is also advantageous to locate sensors near the end of the row where they can detect any hot air entering the cold aisle from the hot aisle.

The first decade of the 21st century was one of rapid growth and change for data centers. For most of the decade, data center managers were forced to react to rapid, continuous changes dictated by the capacity and availability requirements of their organizations, and the density of the equipment being deployed to meet those requirements.

Now, data centers must enter a new stage of maturity marked by a more proactive approach to management to enable increased efficiency, better planning and higher levels of service. Achieving actionable visibility into data center operations requires the ability to collect, consolidate and analyze data across the data center, using advanced devices, sensors and management software.

The 10 steps outlined by Emerson Network Power, and highlighted in this slideshow, provide a systematic approach to building the foundation for data center infrastructure management by deploying and leveraging measurement, intelligent controls and centralized monitoring and management. Data centers employing these 10 prescribed point solutions for infrastructure performance monitoring stand to gain an operational, strategic and transformative advantage for their enterprise or business.

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Related Topics : Cooling Systems, Racks and Enclosures

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