Posts Tagged in-row cooling

Don’s Corner: In-row or Perimeter Cooling, is there really a difference, and if there is, which is better?

Posted by on October 4, 2012  |  No Comments

Don Melchert, Critical Facility Specialist

I love two-part questions, don’t you?  It shows me that the person asking it probably has some experience with the subject and is asking a loaded question.  Usually, the inquiry stems from an experience that didn’t go all too well, or, it went much better than planned and the question is asked more from a validation standpoint than an argument.  I’d much rather prefer the latter, of course, but in data centers, that’s usually not the case, is it?

With any subject that’s controversial, you’ll never win everyone over.  In the argument over In-row or Perimeter Cooling, the subject is more volatile, especially if the inquisitor’s job is to maintain an antiquated (read dinosaur) perimeter cooling system.  You just know they’re thinking to themselves, “If that system goes away…now what?”  Ever see the latest version of Willie Wonka and The Chocolate Factory?  When the machines took over production, Charlie’s dad was laid off, but in the end, he came back to work as a repair technician on the machine that replaced him.  What made Mr. Wonka decide to replace a human with a machine?  Was it production, quality, or floor space?  If you’re a Co-lo provider, floor space is high-dollar real estate!  So, for this article, let’s use floor space as our filter, and to keep the playing field even, we’ll assume a chilled water system.

After some research, and I’m putting that lightly, I’ve found the Liebert DS to be the most commonly deployed air conditioning system for data center use.  Really, I’ve seen them all over the globe!  Why shouldn’t they be the most common?  They’re easy to train on, so you can get training almost anywhere; they have a long service history, so MTTF rates are pretty accurate; they’re supported by a ton of people, so the MTTR rates are well documented, too.  Of course they have to be shut down to make most repairs, but that topic’s for another discussion.  Even though they’re the most common, the Liebert DS, and perimeter cooling in general, is losing ground to more efficient, close-coupled, In-Row and overhead solutions.

Floor space is the name of the game, so what kind of real estate does the most commonly found perimeter unit gobble up?  Simple answer: 21sq ft.  I said “simple answer” because I made a comment above about having to turn them off for repairs.  Which is why I found that most perimeter cooling believers had more than one Liebert in the room.  Even without a calculator, that’s 42 sq ft, folks, and that’s only at N+1 redundancy.  Within that 21 sq ft area, a Liebert DS can cool up to 42kW of critical load.  Not too shabby, but if you have any kind of redundancy requirement, you’re trying to get the most out of that space.  With a Co-location facility, now you’re looking at how many customers can I not fit into the room because you’re forced to give up 21 sq ft of real estate?  That kind of talk doesn’t fly too well in a boardroom.  So what’s the alternative?  Let’s look at one, the APC In-row, close coupled cooling, or IRRC.

The In-row RC, takes up only about 3.5 sq ft, but it makes up for it’s diminutive nature by removing 18kW of heat load.  With reference to floor space (…and this is where, somewhere out there, my high school geometry teacher is laughing her evil laugh), you’d need a bunch of IRRCs to equal the same amount of real estate consumed by a Liebert DS.  The answer is 6, Ms. Davidson (flashback to 9th grade).  With 6 IRRCs, one could cool up to 108kW of critical load!   Before you ask, no, you won’t need to make them redundant, as the most common failure items, the fans and power supplies, are all hot-swappable.  Here’s something else to chew on: the IRRCs don’t have to be right next to each other to get the job done.  At about half a rack wide, they can be separated around the room as needed, but you’ll need a sawzall and a darn good explanation afterward if you try to do the same thing with a legacy style perimeter unit!  Please, if you do this to a perimeter unit, invite me out and I’ll buy lunch?

Knowing that I’d have to prove my math, I worked the number backward and concluded that with 108kW of critical load, one would need 2.5 Liebert DS units to remove that much heat, or step up to the next size unit.

That’s where it really strikes home for me, personally.  After performing a CFEP, I’m often challenged with explaining why its important to let go of the ancient ways and consider converting from a perimeter cooled space to a modern, close-coupled solution.  If floor space is the driving factor, then the math, for me, drives the point home fairly well.  If a Co-lo data center can increase their customer base from 12 to 108kW, simply by becoming more efficient in their cooling architecture, maybe Charlie Bucket’s dad might not be laid-off after all.  In today’s job market, that means a lot.

Don Melchert

Universal Networking Services Institute for Data Center Professionals

Posted by on April 6, 2012  |  No Comments

Data center education that will lay the critical foundation to run an efficient data center.

Data center efficiency should be a topic of significant importance to all data center operators. At Universal Networking Services (UNS), our philosophy is simple: knowledge is key to data center efficiency!  UNS Institute for Data Center Professionals offers the data center community priceless educational opportunities through numerous gateways:

Educational Gateways:

“Educational Series For Data Center Professionals”

“Breakfast and Learn Series For Data Center Professionals”

Universal Networking Services Blog

Data Center Critical Power and Cooling LinkedIn Group

Universal Networking Services Twitter

About UNS “Educational Series For Data Center Professionals”:

The “Educational Series For Data Center Professionals” is a customized training series conducted at YOUR facility that provides the education that will lay the critical foundation for your organization to run an efficient data center.  UNS works diligently with you and your staff to customize a curriculum specific to your facilities requirements that educate and showcase the latest in technologies and best practices for data center power, cooling, monitoring, security and management.  Choose either topics from current course curriculum (see course curriculum below) or customize your training.   At UNS, we believe education is key to controlling your data center costs.  With that in mind, we couple your customized training session with our signature Critical Facility Energy Profile (CFEP) assessment.  To highlight, our CFEP service provides an on-site, non-invasive, risk free analysis of your current Network Critical Physical Infrastructure (NCPI) to determine the baseline efficiency of your data center.   On the first day, we will perform a site/data center assessment (CFEP), during which, items that are affecting efficiency and reliability are compiled.  On the second day, we return to the facility to perform a customized education/training session on today’s best strategies for power, cooling, monitoring security and management using examples from YOUR facility.  The education provided will drive your organization’s total-cost-of-ownership (TCO) as low as possible.   UNS is committed to understanding our clients challenges and provide the tools needed to operate their businesses with reliability and maximum efficiency. Contact us today to learn more about this unique educational opportunity.

Current “Educational Series For Data Center Professionals” Course Curriculum:

“POWER FUNDAMENTALS”-If you’ve ever asked yourself…”What’s the difference between kVA and kW?  AC and DC, isn’t that a band? Single-phase or three-phase?…then this is the course for you! In this course, students learn the fundamentals of AC and DC power, from generation to application.

“POWER DISTRIBUTION”-“With great power comes great responsibility.”  One can have all the power in the world but efficiently distributing that power to your critical equipment is the trick that makes the difference between business as usual or lights out!  In this course, students learn the fundamentals and application of efficient power delivered in terms of both off-site and on-site power generation.

“EFFICIENT POWER MANAGEMENT-OPTIMIZING TCO”- “Generator? Check. UPS? Check. Doors secured? Check. Red lights? Check…uh-oh! What do we do now? Who will we call?  Is this covered under a service agreement?” Managing your assets is one thing but doing so in a manner that lowers your TCO and allows you to sleep better at night takes some strategy.  Increasing availability and reliability while continuously decreasing costs means you’ll have to know when to break from the crowd and try less conventional methods.  This course is designed for the professional that has a solid understanding of both “Power Fundamentals” and “Power Distribution” and is ready to develop a strategy to manage their time, manpower and assets with maximum efficiency.

“CRITICAL COOLING 101-FUNDAMENTALS OF AIR CONDITIONING”-This course explains the fundamentals of air conditioning systems and how they can be leveraged in a data center to your advantage.  Topics include:  The Properties of Heat Transfer, The Ideal Gas Law, The Refrigeration Cycle, Condensation Control, and Comfort vs. Precision Cooling.  With a solid understanding of air conditioning principles, this course enables students to make knowledgeable decision on what air conditioning solutions are right for their data center-solutions based on fact, rather than sales and marketing strategy.

“EFFICIENT COOLING-OPTIMIZING COOLING STRATEGIES AND ARCHITECTURE”-Today’s servers generate significantly more heat, and in more concentrated, confined space than they did 20 years ago. So, why are data centers still using the same cooling strategies of yesteryear? This course takes a hard look at data center cooling architectures from many angles: efficiency, reliability, TCO, feasibility and availability, enabling students to make the best choices in cooling their critical equipment.  “Understanding the difference between comfort cooling and critical cooling; understanding the different types of cooling architectures and their deployment; and developing a method of choosing one cooling strategy over another” are all topics discussed in this course offering.

About UNS “Breakfast and Learn Series for Data Center Professionals”:

The “Breakfast and Learn Educational Series for Data Center Professionals” offers the data center community multiple opportunities to learn from their peers, share experiences, and expand industry knowledge.  Our educational sessions are conducted throughout the United States quarterly and will be advertised via our Data Center Critical Power and Cooling LinkedIn Group and/or follow us on Twitter.  Our “Breakfast and Learn Series” can also be customized and conducted at your own facility.  For more information on our “Breakfast and Learn Series” please contact us.

Current “Breakfast and Learn” Discussions:

“RIGHT-SIZING VERSUS OVER-SIZING: EFFICIENCY IN THE DATA CENTER”- Forecasting and measuring the total cost of ownership (TCO) for Data Center Physical Infrastructure (DCPI) is essential for return-on-investment (ROI) analysis.  Oversizing is the main contributor to excess TCO.  Oversizing creates inefficiencies in the data center including excess capital cost, operating cost, and specifically energy cost.  The average data center operator can achieve the highest return investment in relation to DCPI through right-sizing.  Right-sizing the DCPI system to the load is the key to optimizing TCO and has the most impact on DCPI electrical consumption.  Right-sizing can potentially eliminate up to 50% of the electrical bill in real-world scenarios.  For example, potential electricity cost savings for a typical 1 MW data center has been shown to be $2,000,000 to $4,000,000 over a typical 10-year life to the facility.  Data center efficiency is key to controlling your energy costs and should be a topic of significant importance to all data center operators.  This discussion is available through our “Breakfast and Learn Educational Series For Data Center Professionals”.

“IS PERIMETER COOLING DEAD?”-Traditional data center “room” cooling is unable to accommodate the latest generation of high and variable density IT equipment resulting in cooling systems that are inefficient, unpredictable, and low in power density.  To address these problems, row-oriented and rack-oriented cooling architectures have been developed.  Our presentation, “Is Perimeter Cooling Dead” examines and contrasts the 3 basic cooling approaches:  room, row, and rack architectures.  Each approach has an appropriate application but row-orientated cooling is emerging as the solution of choice for most next generation data centers.  Next generation data centers demand the flexibility, predicability, scalability, reduced electrical power consumption, reduced TCO and optimum availability that row and rack-oriented cooling architectures can provide.  Additionally, the factors that gave rise to the establishment and use of the raised floor is no longer justified or desirable.  To learn more about this topic, “Is Perimeter Cooling Dead” is available for your organization through our unique “Breakfast and Learn” Educational Series For Data Center Professionals.

About Universal Networking Services Blog “Don’s Corner”:

Data center industry blog that discusses the most relevant topics challenging the data center industry today.  Don Melchert, Critical Facility Specialist, shares in “Don’s Corner” his extensive knowledge and experience from the mission critical arena.  “Don’s Corner” highlights real world experiences to provide you the tools to maximize your efficiency while lowering your operating costs.

About Universal Networking Services LinkedIn “Data Center Critical Power and Cooling Group”:

Join UNS and industry peers on an open forum to discuss the following topics relating to data center “best practices”.  Key areas are:

– Power

– Cooling

– Racks- Security

– Management

– Fire Suppression

– Personnel

Submit your questions or comments on issues that affect your data center and have them answered by our Critical Facility Specialist.  We provide valuable insight to common problems that often plague modern data centers. Join the discussion at Data Center Critical Power and Cooling LinkedIn Group.

About Universal Networking Services Twitter:

Follow us on Twitter as we tweet/share industry related news, event postings, and company updates.

APC Data Center University

Data Center University™ (DCU) offers industry-leading education for IT professionals‚ facilities managers‚ engineers‚ designers‚ consultants‚ and anyone involved in the critical decisions and infrastructure planning of data centers worldwide. The changing nature of data centers‚ and the technology that impacts them‚ makes it even more critical that employees remain up to date on the current theories and best practices for issues around topics of power‚ cooling‚ management‚ security‚ and planning.

DCU provides a full curriculum of courses that educate and deliver up-to-the-minute information when and where you need it. Our online program is intended to be manageable and attainable‚ and with our Certification exam‚ you can quantify your learning and experience as a true data center professional!

Energy University by Schneider Electric

Schneider Electric, the global specialist in Energy Management has launched an e-learning website Energy University to provide the latest information and professional training on Energy Efficiency concepts and best practice! All in ONE Place – All in ONE site!

In addition to learning new energy saving ideas that directly contribute to the overall well-being of the earth; you will also become an even more valuable employee by contributing to the bottom line for your company. Learn something new today and apply the knowledge tomorrow. Become an Energy Efficiency Champion! Read more…

Don’s Corner: “Is Perimeter Cooling Dead?”

Posted by on March 6, 2012  |  No Comments

Don Melchert, Critical Facility Specialist

“IS PERIMETER COOLING DEAD?”

Traditional data center “room” cooling is unable to accommodate the latest generation of high and variable density IT equipment resulting in cooling systems that are inefficient, unpredictable, and low in power density.  To address these problems row-oriented and rack-oriented cooling architectures have been developed.  Our presentation, “Is Perimeter Cooling Dead” examines and contrasts the 3 basic cooling approaches: room, row, and rack architectures. Each approach has an appropriate application but row-orientated cooling is emerging as the solution of choice for most next generation data centers. Next generation data centers demand the flexibility, predicability, scalability, reduced electrical power consumption, reduced TCO, and optimum availability that row and rack-oriented cooling architectures can provide. Additionally, the factors that gave rise to the establishment and use of the raised floor in the data center environment are presented.  For many applications the use of the raised floor is no longer justified or desirable. To learn more about this topic, “Is Perimeter Cooling Dead” is available for your organization via our unique “Breakfast and Learn” Educational Series For Data Center Professionals.  This series provides the education that will lay the critical found for your organization to run an efficient data center.  Please feel free to contact me for further information at d.melchert@apcdistributors.com or 918-760-8236.

The Advantages of Row and Rack-Oriented Cooling Architectures for Data Centers (White Paper #30) Overview:

Executive Summary:

Latest generation high density and variable density IT equipment create conditions that traditional data center room cooling was never intended to address, resulting in cooling systems that are inefficient, unpredictable, and low in power density. Row-oriented and rack-oriented cooling architectures have been developed to address these problems. This paper contrasts room, row, and rack architectures and shows why row- oriented cooling will emerge as the preferred solution for most next generation data centers.

Highlights:

  • Discuss the following cooling approaches:  room, row and rack-based cooling architectures.
  • Benefit comparison of cooling architectures:  challenges in agility, availability, lifecycle costs, serviceability, and manageability
  • Special issues:  capacity utilization, humidification, electrical efficiency, water near IT equipment, location and redundancy.
  • Elements of the raised floor and problems associated with using a raised floor.
  • Hurdles to eliminating the raised floor
  • Designing without a raised floor.

Conclusion:

The conventional legacy approach to data center cooling using room-oriented architecture has technical and practical limitations in next generation data centers. The need of next generation data centers to adapt to changing requirements, to reliably support high and variable power density, and to reduce electrical power consumption and other operating costs have directly led to the development of row and rack-oriented cooling architectures. These two architectures are more successful at addressing these needs, particularly at operating densities of 3 kW per rack or greater. The legacy room-oriented approach has served the industry well, and remains an effective and practical alternative for lower density installations and those applications where IT technology changes are minimal.

Row and rack-oriented cooling architecture provides the flexibility, predictability, scalability, reduced electrical power consumption, reduced TCO, and optimum availability that next- generations data centers require. Users should expect that many new product offerings from suppliers will utilize these approaches.

It is expected that many data centers will utilize a mixture of the three cooling architectures. Rack-oriented cooling will find application in situations where extreme densities, high granularity of deployment, or unstructured layout are the key drivers. Room-oriented cooling will remain an effective approach for low density applications and applications where change is infrequent. For most users with newer high density server technologies, row-oriented cooling will provide the best balance of high predictability, high power density, and adaptability, at the best overall TCO.

References:

Avoidable Mistakes that Compromise Cooling Performance in Data Centers and Network Rooms (White Paper#49) Overview:

Executive Summary:

Avoidable mistakes that are routinely made when installing cooling systems and racks in data centers or network rooms compromise availability and increase costs. These unintentional flaws create hot-spots, decrease fault tolerance, decrease efficiency, and reduce cooling capacity. Although facilities operators are often held accountable for cooling problems, many problems are actually caused by improper deployment of IT equipment outside of their control. This paper examines these typical mistakes, explains their principles, quantifies their impacts, and describes simple remedies.

Conclusion:

The air distribution system is a part of the data center that is not well understood, and facility operators and IT personnel often take actions involving airflow that have unintentional and adverse consequences to both availability and cost.

Flawed airflow implementation has not been a serious problem in the past, due to low power density in the data center. However, recent increases in power density are beginning to test the capacity of cooling systems and give rise to hot-spots and unexpected limitations of cooling capacity

Decisions such as facing all racks in the same direction are often made for cosmetic reasons to project image; but as users and customers become more educated they will conclude that people who do not implement airflow correctly are inexperienced, which is the opposite of the original intent.

Adopting a number of simple policies and providing a simple justification for them can achieve alignment between IT and Facilities staff resulting in maximum availability and optimized TCO.

References:

View The Next Generation of InfraStruxure

Posted by on April 11, 2011  |  No Comments

InfraStruxure Data Centers Mean Business

Learn more about integrated power, cooling, racks, management and services:

View The Next Generation Of InfraStruxure™

InfraStruxure™ is the scalable and adaptable data center IT room architecture that dramatically reduces time and complexity from concept and design through installation. Power, cooling, racks, security and management components are conceived and tested as part of an integrated system which is evident in the aesthetics, functionality and ease of management software integration. Taking a broad system view enables full realization of the benefits of going fast, going dense and going green while ensuring your critical availability targets are met. An open system, InfraStruxure™ is the proven “on demand” architecture for data center IT rooms small and large, delivering high availability and real energy savings whether deployed on its own, in a zone, or in incremental steps.

This new generation of InfraStruxure™ delivers:

  • Higher performance – 25 percent increase in power and cooling capacity, 15 percent smaller footprint
  • More scalability – as big as you want to go
  • Faster and easier planning through operations – automated planning and design tools with open & integrated management and operations software
  • More innovation and leadership – from the worlds leader in data center physical infrastructure all while reducing cost!

To learn more about integrated power and cooling,  please contact Waite Ave at w.ave@apcdistributors.com or 281-825-9790.

AUGUST 19TH, 2010 EVENT: “IS PERIMETER COOLING DEAD?”

Posted by on August 11, 2010  |  No Comments

“IS PERIMETER COOLING DEAD?”

“BREAKFAST AND LEARN” INFORMATION:
DATE: WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 19TH
TIME: 8:00-11:00
LOCATION: APC DEMO DATA CENTER
6380 W 54TH AVENUE
ARVADA, CO 80002

PRESENTATION OVERVIEW:

Traditional data center “room” cooling is unable to accommodate the latest generation of high and variable density IT equipment resulting in cooling systems that are inefficient, unpredictable, and low in power density. To address these problems row-oriented and rack-oriented cooling architectures have been developed. This presentation will examine and contrast the 3 basic cooling approaches: room, row, and rack architectures. Each approach has an appropriate application but row-orientated cooling is emerging as the solution of choice for most next generation data centers. Next generation data centers demand the flexibility, predicability, scalability, reduced electrical power consumption, reduced TCO, and optimum availability that row and rack-oriented cooling architectures can provide. Additionally, the factors that gave rise to the establishment and use of the raised floor in the data center environment are presented. For many applications the use of the raised floor is no longer justified or desirable. To learn more on this topic, join us for breakfast and an educational presentation that examines “is perimeter cooling dead”?

PRESENTATION TOPIC HIGHLIGHTS:

-Discuss the following cooling approaches: room, row and rack-based cooling architectures.
-Comparison of cooling architectures: challenges in agility, availability, lifecycle costs, serviceability, and manageability
-Special issues: capacity utilization, humidification, electrical efficiency, water near IT equipment, location and redundancy.
-Elements of the raised floor and problems associated with using a raised floor.
-Hurdles to eliminating the raised floor
-Designing without a raised floor.

Attendees are invited to stay after the educational presentation to walk through a demonstration data center and experience InfraStruXure architecture from APC by Schneider Electric. All attendees are eligible for a free Critical Facility Energy Profile conducted at their own facility. For additional details on the CFEP offer and to RSVP for this event please contact Waite Ave  at w.ave@apcdistributors.com or 281-825-9790.

ABOUT THE GUEST SPEAKER:

Don Melchert has been working with critical facilities since 1992. He has lead the efficient build out of new data centers such as Sisters of Mercy hospitals and has managed critical facilities to include ConAgra Foods, Coca-Cola Enterprises and the Department of Education. For Schneider Electric, Don is now the primary instructor for Data Center University, bringing with him the knowledge and experience gained from assisting customers throughout North America become more self sufficient and energy conscious.

ABOUT THE SPONSORS:

Universal Networking Services, LLC (UNS, LLC) specializes in mission-critical power and cooling solutions for wiring closets, server rooms and data centers. UNS, LLC provides product acquisition, design/engineering, installation management and maintenance services.

APC is considered a global leader in data center physical infrastructure (DCPI) solution, APC sets the standard in its industry for quality, innovation and support.

Universal Networking Services, LLC Announces A Limited Time Offer on Free Critical Facility Energy Profiles

Posted by on August 4, 2010  |  No Comments

Denver, Colorado, June 14, 2010: Universal Networking Services, LLC (UNS, LLC)  a leading provider of mission-critical power and cooling infrastructure products and services today announced a limited time offer (June 15th-August 15th) on free Critical Facility Energy Profiles.

Waite Ave, Managing Partner for UNS, states “Nearly half of a data center’s energy bill is from power and cooling.  We are excited to offer this opportunity to Denver’s IT community to save on energy costs. Today’s IT departments face complex challenges that demand attention to their bottom line.  Up to 75 percent of the energy used feeds power-hungry servers and the operation of mechanical and electrical systems that keep the lights on and, above all, keep the IT equipment cool.  Smaller, more powerful IT equipment is considerably hotter than older systems, making heat management a major challenge.UNS and it’s partners take a broad view of these challenges in today’s IT facilities.  Often, our recommendations, without any capital investment by the client, can generate savings on utility costs.  If the client choses to implement modern technology such as in-row/in-rack cooling infrastructure the savings are often compounded.   As an example, we have seen upwards of 40% savings in our clients utility bill by implementing this sort of IT architecture.  Normally pricing is associated with our Critical Facility Energy Profiles but we want to encourage local companies to be proactive in minimizing their costs and maximizing their efficiency by offering this service free for a limited time..

About Universal Networking Services, LLC
Universal Networking Services, LLC headquartered in Denver, Colorado.  UNS, LLC specializes in mission-critical power and cooling solutions for wiring closets, server rooms, and data centers.UNS, LLC provides product acquisition, design, engineering, installation management and maintenance services for government and privately held organizations.  

About Critical Facility Energy Profiles (CFEP)

Our Critical Facility Energy Profile (CFEP) service provides an analysis your current power and cooling infrastructure to determine the baseline efficiency of your wiring closet, server room, or data center.  Our consultant will document the existing infrastructure, determine the efficiency and provide an accurate assessment of the factors limiting the highest achievable efficiency of the data center.  The critical facility specialists will provide a comprehensive report that will make recommendations for changes to maximize efficiency.  

To learn more about this limited time offer and details of the CFEP please contact Waite Ave at w.ave@apcdistributors.com or 281-825-9790.

To learn more about Universal Networking Services visit apcdistributors.com.