Thursday, February 20, 2014

Malaysia and Singapore need to cool off on cooling

Local data centres are too cool according to a recent survey from Enlogic

[Kuala Lumpur – 20 February 2014] A recent survey conducted by intelligent Power Distribution Unit (PDU) provider Enlogic has revealed that data centre operators in Malaysia and Singapore are running their centres far below the recommended temperature range. According to ASHRAE, formerly known as the American Society for Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning, the recommended high end temperature range for class one data centres ranges from 25 to 27 degrees Celsius with an upper limit of 32 degrees Celsius.

The survey of 55 data centre professionals, conducted at Datacenter Dynamics in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, revealed that 82 per cent were running their data centres at temperatures below 25 degrees Celsius. In fact, a full 15 per cent of respondents were running their facilities at even lower temperatures, below 20 degrees Celsius.

Eddie Desouza, Head of Business Operations for APAC, Enlogic says, “This severe over-cooling is adding needless energy costs to these facilities and reducing power utilisation efficiency as well. It’s been estimated that every one degree Celsius baseline temperatures are lowered by, can result in higher energy bills of up to four per cent!”

“While there is no global standard guideline for cooling data centres, most turn to ASHRAE for its recommendations. Notably, our survey revealed that 61 per cent of respondents believed they were aware of ASHRAE’s recommendations. Yet, when asked what the temperature range was, hardly any of the respondents could quote the correct range.”

ASHRAE has revised its guidelines for cooling data centres twice since it published its first guideline in 2004. That year, an upper limit of 25 degrees Celsius was recommended. In 2008, the upper limit was revised to 27 degrees Celsius, and in 2011, the upper limit was again revised to 32 degrees Celsius[i].

Desouza continues, “Once the efficiencies were shared server vendors reviewed the technology to now withstand temperatures of up to 70 degrees Celsius. Vital components such as PDUs have historically been more fragile.  The latest, leading edge intelligent PDUs can withstand temperatures of up to 60 degrees Celsius, allowing managers to push baseline temperatures higher.”

Desouza concludes, “Refusing to raise the baseline temperatures may be a short term view as it does mean data centre managers can keep lower rated technologies in situ.  However, investing in the right technology, especially the right PDU can allow you to reduce overall cost of ownership and increase profitability.”

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