Feeling the heat

Feeling the heat

Precision cooling

On the cooling front, the traditional way to deal with heat and cooling issues was to stick an air conditioning unit in the room, or at the side of the rack. But Makryllos said cooling was needed in the row and wherever heat is being generated.

"It is expensive to cool the whole room," he said. "It is an ineffective approach for next-generation data centres."

Latest generation high density and variable density IT equipment created conditions that room cooling was never intended to address, resulting in cooling systems that were inefficient, unpredictable, and low in power density, he said.

Row-oriented and rack-oriented cooling architectures have been developed to address these problems. Makryllos predicted row-oriented cooling would emerge as the preferred solution for most next generation data centres.

"You may turn off the lights when you leave the company to save energy, but the data centre keeps on going," he said. "CIOs are more conscious of power demand and how to save power. Hot air can contaminate the data centre."

To further educate resellers, APC is funding and supporting data centre university, a vendor neutral education portal on power, cooling and the environment. The initial launch offers 14 foundation courses and 12 advanced courses that cover a range of subjects related to data centre design and management.

The university is aimed at IT professionals, engineers, facilities managers and anyone involved with the network critical physical infrastructure of the data centre.

Hot courses among partners include standardisation in the data centre, fundamental principles of network security, and advantages of row- and rack-oriented cooling architectures. Education of partners is imperative, but often overlooked since power management is still considered the domain of the engineers and not as sexy as other areas of technology.

The Uptime Institute has estimated 28 per cent of every dollar spent today in an IT data centre goes into infrastructure and energy costs. "In 10 years, it is estimated 85 per cent of data centre costs will go into power, cooling, and environmental monitoring. The trick is to detect anything with an electrical pulse," Makryllos said.

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