Using Instrumentation To Drive Data Center Efficiency – Intel’s ACE In The Hole

first_imgTo learn more about ACE at the upcoming Intel Developer Conference in San Francisco, check out the “ECOS003 Advanced Cooling Environment (ACE) Technology: Controlling Data Center Cooling with Servers” or stop by the ACE demo in the Eco-Tech Zone of the Tech Showcase. Earlier this year Intel, HP, IBM, Lawrence Berkeley Labs, Emerson Network Power & Wunderlich-Malec collaborated on a California Energy Commissions sponsored MacGuyver-ish project call Advanced Cooling Environment (ACE) to solve an issue that many data centers face – overcooling their data centers beyond the needs of the servers and other IT equipment running inside of the facility.  You see, IT equipment is designed to run within a temperature envelope. If the air coming into the server is warmer than the envelope, you run the risk of overheating. If the air coming into the server is colder than the envelope, you are spending too much money on cooling the air, which does nothing other than needlessly increase the cost of operating the data center and reduces the energy efficiency as well. The team surveyed the items at its disposal and determined that they could link data from the front panel temperature sensors (server instrumentation) on the servers to the control systems of the computer room air handlers (CRAHs – essentially air conditioners) via standard data center management communication protocol.   The CRAHs could then dynamically adjust the speed of the fans and the temperature of the air to the requirements of the servers. The results: servers received the appropriate temperature air, power costs for cooling went down and the energy efficiency of the data center went up.  Problem solved….and they didn’t even use a paper clip or shoestring.  The real beauty of the project is that all of the items used are commercially available today for you to instrument your data center and improve the energy efficiency of your operation.center_img Have you ever had one of those MacGuyver moments? You know – you have a problem to solve and a collection of items at your disposal, and if you use can figure out how to use those items, you can save the day.last_img

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