Data Center Cooling & Power Myths Busted

 In Blog
Although power and cooling makes up a large part of data center costs, both are often subjects that are surrounded by many myths. Here we try to dispel a few of those misconceptions.

Myth: Servers represent the vast majority of IT data center power consumption.
Reality: In a typical air cooled data center, nearly 40% of electrical power is used for cooling, with the remaining 60% used mostly for servers, storage, networking, etc. In processing or computation- intensive environments, the amount of total power used by servers increases; however, cooling is still the biggest piece of the pie when it comes to power usage. If cooling can be managed more efficiently, a significant cost saving can be achieved.

Direct contact liquid cooling enables reductions in energy consumption at the IT equipment level. This has the greatest impact on overall consumption because these savings spread across all supporting systems. Liquid cooling has the added benefit of removing the three most critical constraints faced by data center managers today: power, cooling and space.

datacenter powerconsumption

Analysis of a typical 5,000-square-foot data center shows that demand-side computing equipment accounts for 52 percent of energy usage and supply-side systems account for 48 percent.

* This represents the average power draw (kW). Daily energy consumption (kWh) can be captured by multiplying the power draw by 24.

Myth: Liquid cooling is expensive to integrate and increases costs.
Reality: The integration of liquid cooling may increase the basic server cost; however, this increase is offset by several factors:

    • A high density solution requires less standard data center equipment (racks, switches, raised-floor, etc) that lowers overall CAPEX.
    • Some solutions, such as CoolIT’s Rack DCLC, delivers a 25%-30% decrease in OPEX thanks to reduced chilled water requirements.
    • The average ROI for Rack DCLC solutions is 0-6 months.


Myth: Air-cooling is more reliable than liquid-cooling
Reality: There are far more failures using air cooled technology than you might care to admit.

Consider these issues related to air-cooling:

    • Increasing heat loads cannot be adequately managed.
    • Uneven cooling (hot spots).
    • Cannot target heat sources.
    • Equipment airflow is blocked by obstructions.
    • Difficult to calculate whether there is sufficient airflow in a continuously evolving environment where heat densities vary from one rack to the next.
    • CRAC air mixes with hot exhaust air before it gets to the equipment air intake.

Inefficient cooling can cause irreparable damage to components, increase costs (powering fast turning fans and computer room air conditioning (CRAC) units), while limiting efficiency, performance and density.

A direct contact liquid cooling solution, such as Rack DCLC from CoolIT, offers some compelling advantages that far outweigh the unlikely risk of damage due to escaped moisture. By using DCLC the dependence on expensive air conditioning and air handling systems is dramatically reduced, enabling more servers per rack, lowering power usage and allowing for significantly higher performance potential. Rack DCLC integration translates into an effective and scalable cooling strategy that significantly reduces OPEX.

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