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Addressing power and cooling issues in virtualised data centres

Jack Loo | April 3, 2012
If left unresolved, there will be additional overhead costs from idle power and ineffective cooling capacity.

Companies will need to bring in data centre solutions advisors, such as Schneider Electric, at the planning phase of new data centre as we will be able to leverage on our expertises and experience to provide scalable data centre designs with right-sized power and cooling infrastructure. This will help companies achieve lower initial upfront capital costs and much better energy efficiency once the data centre is operational.

Scaling down power and cooling capacity may be the most difficult to implement for existing data centres. Reducing the capacity of these systems simply may not be feasible in certain situations. The system may not be divisible if the design is not modular. Unless power and cooling are down-sized to bring loading back within normal operating limits, these effects could result in expenses that negate some of the energy savings or, in some cases, pose a risk to availability.

For an existing data centre, perhaps more feasible options might include doing such things as:

a) Installing blanking panels to reduce air mixing

b) Orienting racks into separate hot and cold aisles

c) Install air containment technologies

d) Adjusting fan speeds or turning off cooling units

e) Removing unneeded UPS power modules for scalable UPSs


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