There’s been some cool developments in the data center thermal modeling biz this week. First, SynapSense and Future Facilities have teamed to add a little of the former’s monitoring and computational fluid dynamics tech to Future’s virtual data center modeling tools. Optimum Path Systems, on the other hand, is changing the economics of 3D temperature monitoring and modeling by employing inexpensive RFID tags in place of pricey, hard-wired sensors. Neat, but what I want to know is, how long before virtual 3D walkthroughs become the norm in data center monitoring?
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) is in the midst of revamping its 90.1 standard for a building’s efficiency. Erect a commercial building in the U.S., and there’s a very good chance that the standard influenced the building codes that govern its construction. But as the organization adds data centers to its standards portfolio, ASHRAE should rethink its approach. Instead of a “checklist” mentality, where the presence of a particular technology dictates a facility’s “greenness,” ASHRAE should take an achievement/performance-based view of its standards.
The problem with green data center strategies like hot/cold aisles is that they can be tough to implement if your facility was built several years ago. Along comes Wright Line with the help of Advanced Data Centers and Rumsey Engineers to develop an enclosure that allows data center operators to build hot aisles around their existing infrastructure and expand them when more server racks are added. Another neat touch: a clear ceiling that lets in ambient light.
Rather than risk overheating critical servers, many data centers “overcool” their facilities. Good news for computer-room air-conditioning (CRAC) unit vendors, but not for organizations that want to save energy. Intel’s Dylan Larson says things are changing and points to work involving CRAC vendor Emerson on protocols that unite server management and cooling systems. HVAC companies should pick up the pace before data center operators start turning their attention to other alternatives like targeted and free cooling schemes.