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Data Center Cooling Strategies

Looking back at the high temperature record this summer, the world’s highest temperature soared above 53°C. According to the observation of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), extreme weather phenomena are driving the global average annual temperature to increase at a rate of 0.08°C per decade. The rise is more than double the pace since 1981. As the world is getting hotter and hotter, companies all over the world are constantly expanding various data centers in order to achieve digital transformation. However, data center maintenance personnel are most afraid of heat, so the cooling system used to maintain storage devices is even more serious. High power and water consumption. Over time, the challenge of maintaining data center cooling becomes more complex, expensive and power-hungry. The demand for electricity has already affected other infrastructures. In some cities, such as London, the huge electricity demand of the data center has even affected the construction of new houses. From this, it can be predicted that as the amount of global data continues to grow, the future global demand for electricity will inevitably only increase. higher.

For us in the data storage and processing field, cooling is not a new challenge. Any data center administrator must reduce power consumption as effectively as possible and maintain temperature stability while meeting business needs. There are many high-end technologies on the market that can help solve cooling problems, but they may not be easy to implement or retrofit into a form that can be used in existing data centers, but fortunately, there are some practical and sustainable strategies that can be used as a cooling solution. Part of the solution.

Let the cool air keep circulating

Good air-conditioning is the foundation of all data centers. If the data center is built in a cooler climate, it can also be a way to fundamentally reduce the burden of air-conditioning. However, many data centers today are forced to rely on watering. Cool down to keep your central air conditioning (HVAC) system functioning properly. Furthermore, it is a basic requirement to ensure that the central air-conditioning system maintains a stable power supply. From the perspective of business continuity and emergency response, backup generators are a necessary preventive measure for cooling technology, computing or storage resources. , disaster recovery plans should detail what to do if power (and backup power) is lost. On the other hand, more durable and stable hardware is also a solution worth considering, such as using flash memory that can withstand temperature rise better than mechanical hard disk solutions. Even under high temperature conditions, data can still be kept safe. Performance is also still stable.

Three strategies to reduce power consumption

IT departments can effectively reduce power consumption with the help of the following three strategies, which, when combined together, will help reduce power consumption and cooling requirements in the data center:

Strategy 1. Adopt a more efficient solution: This is obvious. Each hardware unit consumes energy and generates waste heat. Enterprises should look for hardware that consumes less data center resources but provides more performance, effectively reducing temperature, Reduce cooling costs. More and more IT departments are beginning to take power efficiency into consideration when selecting data center equipment. For example, in the data storage and processing part, the key indicators of capacity per watt and performance per watt are included in the evaluation. In the data center, data storage accounts for a large part of the hardware, so upgrading to a more efficient system can greatly reduce the overall power consumption and cooling burden of the data center.

Strategy 2. Choose Disaggregated architectures: Although the hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) that combines computing and storage systems is efficient, it is mainly aimed at rapid deployment and reducing the number of teams required to deploy solutions , rather than energy efficiency. In fact, direct-attached storage (DAS) and hyper-converged systems waste a lot of power. For example, computing and storage requirements rarely increase at the same rate, causing enterprises to sometimes allocate too many computing resources to meet storage requirements. Sometimes it is the opposite, but in either case, a lot of power will be wasted. By separating compute and storage, businesses can easily reduce the number of components required in the overall infrastructure, which reduces power consumption and cooling requirements. In addition, direct-attached storage and hyper-converged solutions can easily create islands of infrastructure. The unused capacity in one cluster is difficult to provide for other clusters, thus causing more resources to be over-provisioned and wasted.


Strategy 3. Real-time allocation of resources: Traditional resource allocation is evaluated based on the needs of the next 3 to 5 years, but this approach is no longer appropriate, because it usually makes enterprises have to maintain infrastructure far exceeding their current needs at any time. In contrast, the modern on-demand consumption model and automated deployment tools allow enterprises to easily expand the infrastructure within the data center at any time. Having infrastructure provisioned in real-time rather than reserved upfront can avoid having to power and cool components that are not needed for months, or even years, in the future.

Let the basic equipment lead the data center to a future of high efficiency and energy saving

Most of the time, maintaining the cooling of the data center depends on a stable air conditioner and a proper contingency plan. However, every time the external ambient temperature rises by one degree, it will add more burden to the equipment in the computer room. Cooling systems can reduce the thermal stress on racks and the entire computer room, but no data center manager wants to put more stress on these systems. That being the case, why don’t we take some steps to reduce the size of the equipment and the waste heat generated in the first place? If enterprises can adopt suitable data storage devices, they will have the opportunity to save up to 80% of power consumption and 70-80% of computer room space, which not only saves costs for enterprises, but also contributes to environmental, social and governance (ESG) make a contribution. Reduce operating costs, simplify and cool our data centers, and reduce energy consumption through efficient and modern storage equipment. There are several things in one stroke. From now on, data center cooling operations will no longer be a headache for enterprises.