Cooling costs are a major component of data center operating costs. The economic and environmental benefits that can result from lowered cooling costs are significant. But raising the temperature can raise risks. If only one or two cabinets in an entire facility exceed temperature thresholds, damage to equipment, SLA violations, and unplanned outages could result.
Fortunately, by combining easy-to-install wireless environmental monitors with proven data center cooling applications, these risks are addressed and most data center operators can realize the benefits of lower cooling costs.
Find the Right Environmental Monitors
One key to taking the risk out of lower cooling costs is to ensure that you have insight into temperature, humidity and pressure conditions everywhere in your facility. This can require a large number of monitoring units that can be expensive to buy, install, power and manage. Fortunately, battery-powered wireless environmental monitors are now available from Packet Power and others that install quickly, have batteries that last for years, and require no configuration. In fact, a major colocation services provider recently replaced older temperature monitors with new Packet Power sensors and cut the amount of time needed to instrument the facility by 90%.
Leverage the Right Optimization Software
All of those monitoring units generate a lot of readings -- over 8,000 per hour in a facility with 200 cabinets. So how can you harness that data to improve cooling performance? Software from companies such as EkkoSense and Vigilent does just that.
Both offerings allow facility managers to map the layout of their facilities and the location of the monitoring units along with the number, type and capacity of the cooling units. The machine-learning, AI-powered systems then crunch the data in real time and suggest changes that can be made to cooling settings in order to safely reduce the amount of cooling used. In Vigilent's case, the system can communicate directly with the cooling system components to make the changes without staff intervention.
Both EkkoSense and Vigilent have tested and fully support using Packet Power's environmental monitoring units to feed data to their systems.
Feel Confident in Your Investment
How can you be sure the systems will pay off? There are many successful installations that offer proof. References are available from data center operators that have realized reductions of as much as 30%. And while in the past, facilities may have needed specialized air handling equipment with capabilities such as variable speed fans in order to see substantial benefits, now, although the systems can take advantage of those capabilities if present, they are no longer a requirement. In addition to reducing operating costs, optimizing cooling can postpone or eliminate future capital expenditures that would otherwise have been needed to acquire more cooling capacity. And many electric utilities offer incentives tied to lowering cooling costs.
The ability to easily add the monitoring needed to get detailed insight into conditions across a facility combined with proven monitoring applications has removed the risk from cooling optimization projects. Add in rising energy costs, and there's no better time to reach out to the experts at these companies to find out how you can get started on lowering your cooling costs.
Email Tracy Collins (firstname.lastname@example.org), VP North American Sales for EkkoSense to learn more about their optimization software.
Contact Vigilent at email@example.com to hear about their dynamic cooling optimization solutions.