The Next Big Thing
Posts about next generation technologies and their effect on business.

First Wind-cooled Data Center

HP just opened the large 360,000 sq. ft. Wynyard data center. This Green Data Center project was underway at EDS before the HP purchase. It uses the continuously blowing cool North Sea air and a unique multilevel low pressure airflow design to minimize the cost of cooling.

"The air runs through a massive bank of modular filters to remove dust and other contaminants before it circulates in a massive cavity, called a plenum, below its data center halls.

The air is forced up though the floor and runs over the front of server racks before being exhausted. The system keeps the hall at a constant 24C (75.2F). When it is cold outside, some of the exhausted heat is recirculated with the outside air to maintain the right temperature."

The PUE for the data halls themselves is around 1.16. Some of the Green features of the data center can be seen in this video.

"Running at a full load, HP has calculated that the Wynyard facility has a 1.2 PUE, meaning that for every 1.2 watt of electricity used to power IT equipment, 1 watt is used for cooling and other facility needs. That makes it HP's most efficient data center"

PUE is being used by the EPA in the US to determine Energy Star ratings for data centers. Various cloud vendors are using PUE for comparison as well and HP's appears to shape up pretty well in that comparison.

Energy efficiency is not everything when it comes to data centers though like all modern data centers security is critical:

"Security is tight. Access cards and biometric details are needed to access halls. Server cabinets are locked, and the keys are only released if the particular engineer has permission encoded on an access card. The entry system to the data halls prevents two people from entering at the same time. The data center also has a high perimeter fence, reinforced walls and constant security."

| ‎02-15-2010 09:30 PM

One of my colleagues pointed out that the calculation explaination shown in quotes that justifies the 1.2 PUE can't be right. I'll see if I can find the real numbers.

Las Vegas Data Center | ‎06-13-2010 10:49 PM

Thanks for the post. It was interesting and informative and I look forward to more in the future.

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