New Kinds Of Cloud Environments Require New Cooling Solutions

Data Centers
Aug 31 2015

Cloud computing concept illustrationBefore we dive in, it’s important to understand just how much cloud has impacted modern data center operations. We have new workloads, new levels of virtualization, and new kinds of resources demands stemming from the ever-mobile user. This has created an environment requiring better uptime and cost-effectiveness. To accomplish these requirements, new kinds of versatile environmental controls must be implemented which can effectively scale with IT and business demands.

Creating Better Cooling for the Cloud
When it comes to cooling, sometimes you need to get creative. Let’s take a look at some ways you can create better cooling in the era of cloud!

  • Start looking into hybrid cooling platforms.

There are a lot of new cooling solutions using advanced, natural forms of cooling. Not only will this drive down costs, but it will also lessen the impact on the environment. Also look for a data center cooling platform that integrates and optimizes these “free cooling” technologies into a hybrid cooling plant, capable of “mixing” cooling methods to be most efficient. Many such progressive colocation data centers using these kinds of cooling solutions can boast an EPA ENERGY STAR® certification.

  • When it comes to cooling and uptime, look for 100% availability.

Many data centers boast 99% uptime. In today’s high-demand, always-on information economy, that one percent can cost millions of dollars. One percent downtime means over 7 hours of outages per month and over 3.5 days of outages per year. This means working with cooling system and data center providers which can deliver service level agreements (SLAs) revolving around your needs and uptime requirements. You can design cooling systems which are smart, load-balanced, and highly redundant—which brings us to the next point.

  • Expect thorough cooling redundancy
Data centers with increased density are susceptible to servers overheating if an inadequate cooling system is in place. State-of-the-art colocation data centers work with solutions which offer N+2 chiller plants and N+2 or greater redundancy on computer room air handling units or computer room air conditioners. Remember, you’re not just trying to keep your data center cool; you’re also trying to create cost-effectiveness. The best way to accomplish this is by using versatile cooling solutions capable of handling a number of different use-cases and applications. Most importantly of all, you need to work with a platform which can scale with your demands.
  • Integrate intelligent, scalable, and efficient cooling options 

There are a lot of new options out there to create a next-gen data center platform built around effective cooling solutions. One example is indirect evaporative cooling (IDEC) which has become a proven approach for highly efficient and cost-effective data center cooling. One of the most advanced of these IDEC units is the Cool3™ cooling unit from Nortek Air Solutions. Significant benefits can result from advanced IDEC units: typical pPUE below 1.1, optimized water usage and costs, reduced maintenance costs to name a few.

The system minimizes the hours required to mechanically cool a data center because it operates inidec_cutaway_blog_small the
economizer (winter) mode for more hours during the year (depending upon location) than its competitors due to having higher outdoor air dry-bulb limits. In addition, the outdoor air wet-bulb limit is very high and is slightly higher than the competition. These advantages result in significant water consumption savings and allow for a compact unit size. And whose not interested in reduced water consumption these days, especially if your data center is located in an area facing water shortages or water cost escalation.

Understanding Your Use-Cases
When creating your own data center platform, understanding your use-cases can mean everything. What kinds of users are you supporting? What types of workloads will you be hosting? How much of the data center will you be utilizing? Once you have a clear vision of the underlying data center ecosystem and the workloads it will support, you’ll see where scalable and cost-effective cooling solutions can make all the difference. You can have the best gear on the block, but if you have a cooling platform which can’t scale with your needs; your servers simply won’t run as efficiently. Today’s cooling technologies offer diverse solutions for many use-cases. A well-designed data center will help your organization better align with market demands.

For more information about ultra-efficiency Cool3 IDEC cooling units, or other cooling solutions for today’s colocation data centers, contact Nortek Air Solutions at datacenterinfo@nortek.com or visit our website www.datacenters.nortekair.com.