One response to “Crunching the numbers in search of a greener cloud”

  1. John Booth

    Paul,
    The data centre industry is growing up!
    We’ve got to remember that the industry itself is only 30 years old if that, old monolithic data centres were classed as mission critical facilities and as a consequence fitted with dual power, network and cooling systems. The cooling systems in particular were over engineered to provide temperatures far lower than what was required, looking at environmental comfort conditions for humans rather than bits of tin!
    Now, we realise that tin can withstand higher temps, in fact far higher temps (one only has to look at the current ASHRAE temperature ranges for Data Centres to see that (10-35C, or 50 – 95F) and some manufacturers who certify to 40C and allow incursions to 45C, to see that chilled air in most facilities are now not required, merely air handling to remove the heat.
    Newer Data Centres are very efficient, even more so when renewable energy systems are used to provide the power, be they hydro, solar, biomass or fuel cell.
    As I said in the first sentence, the industry is growing up, soon we’ll see DCIM used to expand and contract virtualised compute power on demand, both expanding and contracting at will. Environmental systems will also change status to consider the outside weather conditions and in some cases to dynamically apportion compute to places where power costs are cheaper (that said a lot of DC operators buy power on 5year fixes).
    All these systems are already out there ready for use, it is a shame that the older companies don’t seem to see the benefit of using these technologies, but newer companies do and it is they that will reap the benefits.
    The industry is growing up, they will suffer growing pains as new technologies come to the fore, its just a matter of time.