How to Improve Cooling Efficiency for a Data Center

Many businesses are willing to pay for data center services because they don’t want the responsibility and cost associated with keeping servers in-house. And aside from the initial cost of hardware and setup, you’ll probably find that one of the greatest expenses linked to owning and operating a data center revolves around keeping the equipment and facilities cool. Servers, as you will quickly learn, produce a lot of heat. And if left unattended they can overheat, becoming damaged and compromising client data in the process. If you don’t want this to happen you’re going to have to bite the bullet and pay for air conditioning. The good news, however, is that there are ways to increase efficiency when it comes to cooling, lowering your costs in the process. Here are some strategies to try.

The first thing you can do is choose a location in a cooler climate. Some data centers, however, are placed in more temperate environments for the purposes of avoiding inclement weather that could lead to power outages and other problems. It’s a toss-up which will end up costing you more. But whereas the effects of inclement weather are unknown, plunking your operation in a climate that is hot year-round will almost certainly lead to high energy bills for cooling. So it’s something to consider when planning for operating costs.

Of course, you might not want to move across the country to start your data center. And there are other ways to make cooling more efficient. For one thing, you could locate your server storage underground. In case you didn’t know, the temperature just a few feet underground is fairly consistent, although it varies by region. In the U.S., ground temperature ranges from about 45 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the region. But consider the difference in cost if you’re cooling from a base temperature of 75?F underground as opposed to, say 90?F air temperature. You stand to save a lot on cooling costs.

You should also make sure your facility is set up for energy efficiency. Your structure should be airtight, insulated, and properly ventilated, for starters. And you’ll want to use a programmable thermostat that is set to maintain a constant temperature. The more you fiddle with the thermostat, the more energy you’re likely to use. And of course, the manner in which you set up servers within your facility will make a difference. By optimizing usage you stand to decrease the amount of energy needed to both power your servers and cool your facility.

Server virtualization relies on the ability to break up server space within a single piece of equipment to create secure compartments for data storage. By utilizing a smaller number of larger servers in this manner, data centers can offer the same storage and usage capabilities with greater efficiency and lower cost. Data centers in warmer environments, such as a Phoenix, Miami, or Dallas location may face more issues associated with cooling efficiency than those in cooler climes. But there are still a number of ways to cut down on cooling costs in order to operate more efficiently and pass savings along to clients. You simply need to find the measures best suited to your operation.

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