Andrew Schaap, CEO at Aligned Energy, explores the many ways to approach data center cooling. According to Schaap, to future-proof your data center cooling, it is best to start with an adaptive data center partner.
Customer-driven demands have dramatically increased the variability of workloads and the density requirements of the data center. This is especially the case for hyperscalers, cloud and platform providers whose needs can fluctuate quarter-by-quarter, project-to-project or even day-to-day. These fluctuations can occur depending on the cyclicity of their revenue streams, the launch of new products and services, or the expansion of their businesses into new or existing markets.
Although advances in IT have enabled digital transformation in the form of high performance computing to support Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), the Internet of Things (IoT), and big data applications, the data center itself has been slow to evolve. Specifically, most data centers fail to accommodate for high, mixed, and variable density environments.
The consequences of this stasis include stranded power and space capacity, as well as energy and water inefficiencies. Such inefficiencies hamstring the efforts of businesses to respond with agility to changing customer demands, while frustrating their ability to reach sustainability objectives. In order to support higher densities and increasingly dynamic compute loads without stranding capacity, while ensuring scalability and reliability even in the face of fluctuating power draws, data center infrastructure must change.
Into this void enters the adaptive data center, providing dynamic infrastructure that responds to variable IT loads, as well as on-demand provisioning enabled by a rapidly scalable and repeatable model. One essential element of the adaptive data center is the cooling system.
A Cooling System Purpose-Built for the Data Center
The adaptive data center supports high, mixed, and variable density without stranding capacity or other inefficiencies. To accomplish this, what innovative data center providers understand from the cooling and electrical perspective is how to architect traditionally static systems to be dynamic, able to handle different densities, as well as variable power draws.
Companies can approachcooling in many different ways. However, capturing and removing heat at its source provides a hyper-scalable and ultra-efficient environment that dynamically adapts to your IT loads. Finding a partner with data center cooling technology that removes heat rather than pushing cold air into the data hall, and that accommodates both new data centers and retrofitted facilities, can significantly improve the efficiency of existing infrastructure.
To future-proof your data center cooling, it is best to start with an adaptive data center partner that considers the following characteristics.
Responsiveness and Sustainability
Because IT loads can vary, your partner’s cooling technology should quickly and easily respond, and optimize in real-time based on server demand. For example, variable fan speeds and pumps should respond in real-time to changing IT loads, so your system is responsive to today’s as well as tomorrow’s requirements.
The adaptive data center supports high, mixed, and variable density without stranding capacity or other inefficiencies.
To support your organization’s sustainability goals, a cooling system delivers efficiency at any load, and in any climate, regardless of location, and should deliver an industry-leading Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of 1.15. Taking this to the next level, the partner should also significantly reduce your energy and water usage to reduce environmental impact and lower your Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).
Reliability and Hyper-Scalability
There are companies that have taken patented approaches to cooling, and one of them is Aligned Energy.
The company has deconstructed the standard chiller plant and placed major components in the most efficient and reliable places, eliminating complexity in areas where most data centers fail. Its cooling technology is incrementally scalable, allowing you to deploy what you need, where and when you need it, reconfiguring as your needs change. Its Delta³ cooling solution utilizes pre-fabricated components for easy, fast and efficient deployment, so you can scale vertically or horizontally and support 1-50kW per rack within the same row. In fact, Delta³ was independently validated by MTechnology to have a 99.9999 percent reliability with a 400-year Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF). It also requires minimal scheduled maintenance and is continually monitored with real-time data to provide our service department with preventative maintenance alerts.
Consider an Adaptive Approach to Cooling
It’s important to seek out qualities of a data center partner that will help you plan for the future and one that considers responsiveness, sustainability, reliability and hyper-scalability. Ideally, a partner that leverages an advanced supply chain methodology, applies an innovative cooling approach, and can build an adaptive data center quickly, adding on incremental space, power, and cooling when you need it. Lastly, seek out a partner that is able to retrofit or upgrade your existing data center using their cooling technology to future-proof your own deployments and significantly improve your sustainability for years to come.
Learn more about Aligned Energy by reading the company’s latest case study.