If you're an urban IT professional thinking of moving your datacenter to a colder clime to take advantage of so-called "free cooling," you may want to rethink your options. Moving to a cooler rural area won't guarantee energy savings.
In a webinar this past week, datacenter expert Steve Spinazzola described free cooling as "using outside air to cool the datacenter without mechanical use of refrigeration." That's certainly possible in some locations, such as Utah or Iceland, where the outside air is dry and cool most of the year.
But IT temperature control involves more than just opening the windows in the datacenter. In a blog last summer, writer Luca Melluso described the challenge:
If you drive a Toyota hybrid Prius at 90 miles per hour on the highway, you won't match the listed highway fuel economy. But this does not mean the Prius is inefficient -- you are just using the right system in the wrong way.
The same concept applies to free cooling gear.
To work properly, Melluso says, today's temperature control equipment must have sufficient "smarts" to sense when to use outside air and how much to use to achieve the right datacenter temperature.
Further, temperature control must be tailored to your specific datacenter requirements for reliability and uptime; otherwise, a datacenter could wind up bedeviled by capital equipment that goes unused -- sometimes known as stranded capacity.
If you find datacenter temperature control to be a temperature-raising issue by itself, you're not alone. This is a complex topic that calls for expert help.
Here it is: Join us on Tuesday, January 15, at 12:00 p.m. ET for a live audio show on "Tools to Manage Temperature," featuring Schneider Electric's business development director of cooling Joe Capes, who will outline the leading approaches to types of solutions that are being implemented throughout the world. Oh, and he'll answer your questions on live chat as well.
So before you pull up your city stakes and head north, get control of temperature control. Click here to register.
— Mary Jander , Managing Editor, UBM's Future Cities