HP offers cool solution to stuffy server rooms

Hewlett-Packard has come up with a "smart" cooling analysis service that places cooling resources where they are needed the most...

Hewlett-Packard has come up with a "smart" cooling analysis service that places cooling resources where they are needed the most in server rooms and data centres.

HP is working on two programs for cooling management, static smart cooling and dynamic smart cooling. Dynamic cooling management, where an outside company such as HP constantly monitors and adjusts airflow in server rooms, is still a few years away from becoming reality, said Brian Donabedian, site planner and environmental specialist for HP.

Right now, roughly 15% of data centres in the US are looking for more efficient ways to cool their systems, but that number is expected to grow as IT departments upgrade equipment,

With smart cooling analysis, IT managers can learn whether they are wasting energy through general overcooling, when targeted cooling of a certain area of the data centre would be more efficient, Donabedian said.

The project is the result of a combined development effort from HP Labs and HP Services. The services arm will collect data such as floor area, server requirements and other numerical data, and bring it back to HP Labs for specialised testing to determine the best location for cooling technology.

HP measures the airflow patterns in a server room, the placement of cooling technologies such as air conditioners or raised-floor cooling ducts, and the overall size of the room, and crunches that data in a complex modeling software program that creates a 3D image of the room, the servers, and the pattern of hot and cool air around the equipment.

By directing the flow of cold air to the locations in a server room that require it the most, businesses can avoid wasting electricity and money on overcooling, Donabedian said.

Pricing for the service has not been finalised, but will depend on a number of factors, including the size of the room, the number of servers needed to cool, and the overall complexity of the job.

 

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