HP aims to boost data centre cooling

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HP aims to boost data centre cooling

Dynamic Smart Cooling promises to bring down utility bills.

Aiming to cut power consumption by enterprise data centres, HP has unveiled a new management technology that promises to cut cooling costs by up to 40 per cent.

"Energy efficiency is a critical factor in today's datacentres," Paul Perez, vice president with HP's Technology Solutions Group said at an event at the company's Silicon Valley headquarters. "That wasn't the case 10 years ago."

HP's new Dynamic Smart Cooling technology relies on a network of heat sensors to regulate cooling fans. This allows the system to turn down cooling in an area where servers are sitting idle and therefore produce little heat, while providing additional cooling in areas where servers are highly utilised.

Current cooling technologies run full throttle at all times and provide a safety margin to meet outages and disruptions. The new technology only provides cooling where needed and is able to respond automatically to outages and disruptions.

HP claimed that a large datacentre could save about 20 percent on their utility bills, ranging from US$1.1 million to US$2.5 million depending in the geographic location. Electricity in the US is about 30 percent less expensive than in Europe, while Asia is about 60 percent more expensive than Europe.

Smaller datacentres can expect savings of up to 40 percent because they typically deploy less efficient cooling technology than large ones.

Enterprises are hitting a road block in the cooling of their datacentres, HP claimed. Cooling makes up about 40 percent of the total cost of datacentre operation, but also prevents firms from running denser datacentres.

In addition to running cooling more efficiently, Dynamic Smart Cooling also allows firms to increase the number of servers in their datacentre because the technology can more effectively target areas that need cooling.

Enterprises also tend to fill only half of their server racks because of the cooling limitations and shy away from blade servers, added Adam Braunstein, a senior analyst with the Robert Frances Group.

"People want blade servers without choking on the energy cost," Braunstein told vnunet.com.

Braunstein predicted that cooling will become a 'top 5' priority within the next three years because of rising energy prices and new environmental legislation.

Datacentre power consumption has been a major theme throughout the high tech industry.
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