IBM data center gets deep energy retrofit
SOUTHBURY, Conn.--IBM's "green" data center here is kind of like a techie version of the "This Old House" television show. But in this case, the project was to build a showcase for energy-efficiency computing, rather than construct a new addition for a suburban home.
IBM's main problem was data center sprawl. Five years ago, internal IT staff could barely keep up with growing demand for computing resources from employees, causing an expansion from one data center location to four--a situation that was costly and inefficient.
Now, those four data centers have been consolidated into a single spot with the latest in energy-efficient tech gear, including a network of 200 sensors and water-cooled servers. It also uses what are considered the best practices for physically laying out a data center, with close attention to everything from cabling to air flow.
The news.com article has a variety of pictures, most not really that interesting. Here is a picture of the Automated Logic control panel which integrates with a beta IBM Tivoli energy management system.
IBM is a big believer in water cooling.
To lighten the overall cooling load, IBM is using its Cool Blue liquid-cooling systems, which fit onto the back of server racks. These heat exchangers cool the hot air coming from servers' fans by circulating cold water through coils, which absorb the server heat and then are cooled using the building's chiller.
I wonder how many IBM plumbers you get with a service engagement?
A look at the under-floor controls for the water-cooling system, which is monitored for flow and temperature. The water is cooled by the building's chiller, but IBM set up a local loop of the water so that it can serve individual server racks, a way to improve the overall efficiency.
It is interesting to see others who are trying to get rid of this complexity in the data center, and increase temperatures.