Data center cooling systems need to maintain temperatures that support the continuous and reliable performance of information technology equipment (ITE) such as blade servers, networking switches, and routers. If heat isn’t removed from the vicinity of sensitive ITE components, overheating can occur. If servers get too hot, onboard logic will turn-off computers to avoid damage. This protects data center assets, but results in downtime and loss of efficiency.
Data center servers can run at temperatures that aren’t high enough to trigger a shut-off, but doing so can reduce equipment life. Humidity levels and airborne contamination can impede performance, too. For data center owners, developers, and operators, the high cost of cooling is especially problematic. As Pacific Gas & Electric explains in its Data Center Best Practices Guide, data centers can consume 100 to 200 times as much electricity as standard office spaces. (more…)