Wellington based business ISP and data centre operator Xtreme Networks has opted for free-air cooling technology from Vertiv (formerly Emerson Network Power) to minimise the air-conditioning costs at its new data centre in Wellington’s Thordon Quay.
Rather than using only refrigeration technology to cool data centre equipment free-air cooling relies on a sufficiently low ambient temperature outside the data centre to dissipate the heat, with the refrigeration system cutting in only when the temperature gradient is too low to provide adequate cooling.
Vertiv’s director of data centre solutions, Mark Deguara, said operation in free-cooling mode had reduced the centre’s power utilisation efficiency from 1.75 to 1.27.9 PUE is the ratio of the total power consumed by a data centre to the power used by the IT equipment.)
However he said that the PUE improvement over a long period, such a year, had yet to be determined.
Vertiv said the PUE improvement was also the result in part of allowing the IT equipment to operate at a higher temperature than previously. According to Vertiv these temperatures are in line with American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) guidelines on the temperatures that can be tolerated by the new generation of servers.
However one of the biggest contributors to the economies Xtreme can achieve from the cooling technology is simply location.
“Leveraging Wellington’s famously cold southerlies from Antarctica, Xtreme Networks opted for free cooling technology,” Vertiv said.
“This was seen as the best approach due to the cold temperature as well as the prevailing westerlies that bring in cooler offshore [air].”