Free Cooling and Colocation Data Centers

Gita Subramony for Zondits, June 29, 2014

Efficiency in the data center world is on an upward trend. As the cost of power increases and as reliability and environmental sustainability become larger issues, data center designers have been paying more attention to energy efficiency. In the past, the use of free cooling to reduce data center energy consumption was really only prevalent among large-scale data center owners (think Google). Now, colocation data centers that rent space, equipment, and bandwidth to retail customers, “colos” for short, are getting into the game. Colos rent out server space to a variety of customers and are great solutions for companies with lesser IT loads compared to giants like Google or Facebook. Two new colos outside of London, Equinix LD6 and Virtus) are leading the way for other colos to increase their efficiency and reducing costs to those looking to rent server space. This recent trend is at least partially attributable to ASHRAE increasing its ”high end” recommended operating temperature and humidity by 2.6 °F and 10%, respectively.


Free Cooling For Colos

Data Center Dynamics, June 11, 2014

If you wanted to find examples of free cooling in the past you had to forget the colocation players and look to the web-scale giants such as Facebook and Google, or university and research organizations.But, thanks to ASHRAE raising its recommended temperatures for operating servers and the maturing of free-cooling solutions, colo players are now getting on board.

Two data center projects under construction on the outskirts of London highlight just how far free cooling has come. The outside air in these cases is not directly touching the servers (both are opting for indirect free cooling options) and levels of redundancy, that is chillers are still being built into the units.

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