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Better Insight into Cooling Efficiency Can Help Defer datacenter Expansion

As much as 40 percent of datacenter capacity is wasted because IT organizations are too conservative.



Because many IT organizations have no real way of knowing how well the cooling systems in their datacenter are actually working, there is a tendency to compensate by acquiring more datacenter space than necessary. In fact, Cliff Federspiel, president and CTO of Vigilent, an efficiency tooling vendor, said that as much as 40 percent of datacenter capacity is wasted because IT organizations are too conservative when assessing capabilities of their existing cooling systems.


At the datacenter World conference this month in National Harbor, Maryland, Federspiel will present on using wireless sensors to identify areas where additional datacenter capacity can be brought online without exceeding the cooling capacity of the existing facility.



“When it comes to the datacenter, the big four issues are network, space, power, and cooling,” said Federspiel. “The issue that many organizations get hung up on is cooling.”


In addition to saving money, most IT organizations are trying to move more compute capacity to the edges of their networks. The end result is a significant shift in terms of how systems are distributed around the datacenter, which in turn can change the thermodynamics of the entire facility. As a result, Federspiel said, more IT organizations need to make sure they understand how the cooling systems are actually working.


While cooling systems may not always get the same level of attention that power tends to get inside the datacenter, implementing an analytics application can pay for itself in one to two years. Add to that the amount of time it takes to bring on additional datacenter capacity and suddenly understanding the airflow throughout a datacenter facility quickly becomes the difference between putting a hole in the capital budget versus maximizing the value of existing IT investments.

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