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The Ultimate Recycling Project – Extending the Life of your Data Center – Mapping the Right Solution

The proliferation of new, extended application development in software as a service, as well as new virtualization technologies, have created in most data centers a conflict between today’s outdated capabilities versus tomorrow's growing needs. There is no doubt that the cost of building and managing data center resources continues to increase year over year. And there is also no doubt that the cost to power and cool data centers comprises a majority of the operating expense year over year.

Legacy data centers waste at least 50% of the energy they consume managing heat generated by IT systems. Most data centers are not new; they are housed in buildings that are using practices that could be 20 years old and have not yet caught up with the latest trends in IT rack power densities. Fully populated racks can dissipate as much as 7kW-25kW per rack. High end servers can dissipate over 40kW per rack. This level of density requires data centers to provide power and cooling densities that exceed typical current capabilities.

Furthermore, most legacy data centers have not been designed to utilize their maximum capabilities, best practices have not been implemented, and the cooling requirements of IT equipment have been considerably less than optimal. This has created a common situation, as identified by the Uptime Institute, where data centers consume 2.0 to 2.6 times the cooling required by the IT equipment, thus wasting energy and power and further reducing the amount of IT that can be housed in the structure.

By implementing best practices and optimizing the performance of the existing air cooling infrastructure, data center operators can improve the performance of the specified cooling infrastructure to 70 percent efficiency. The question data center owners must ask themselves is if their current air cooling is acceptable at 70 percent or if they can continue to sustain that performance as computing technologies push power and cooling beyond their current requirements. What can operators expect from their environment if cooling requirements exceed 12kW up to 25kW per rack?

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