Technology aims for cooler datacenters

Syska Hennessy Group, an engineering, technology, and construction company, unveiled this week a unique design for cooling datacenters that would allow companies to pack almost double the number of servers into a datacenter space.

The technology, known as SmartServer Solution, is targeted at online banking and online trading datacenters, or any centralized facility used for the transfer of large amounts of data rapidly.

Based on a new way of thinking about air pressure and airflow design, the company says its technology allows more servers per square foot than previous configurations, as many as 42 servers in the same rack space where only 24 could be housed previously.

According to Jun Yang, a senior consultant at Syska, the engineering firm uses Computational Fluid Dynamic analysis for room and server modeling.

The system uses the same cooling elements currently available in datacenters but configures it differently.

For example, Yang says it is typical for the hottest equipment to be placed closest to the air-conditioner, and this is a mistake.

"The air closer to the AC unit moves faster and can create a negative pressure, resulting in very little air coming out of the floor vent," Yang said.

In a standard datacenter about 1,460 servers would require 353 racks and 8,800 square feet, with 90 watts generated per square foot. The company claims its SmartServer solution requires only 34 racks and 1,664 square feet, for the same number of servers, now generating 315 watts of power per square foot.

At a lease rate of US$25 per square foot per year reducing space from 8,800 square feet to 1,664 square feet would be equal to a savings of US$178,000 per year.

Syska's SmartServer is available now. The company will both design new and renovate old facilities.

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