HP Opens World's First 100% Air-Cooled Data Center


Photo by ToastyKen via Flickr CC

Data centers are, thankfully, getting a lot of attention when it comes to making them more efficient. Considering that roughly 60% of the electricity used at a data center goes to keeping the servers cool, focusing on smart cooling tactics is essential. HP has taken this to heart and has opened the world's first wind-cooled data center, and it's the company's most efficient data center to date. The data center is located near the North Sea in northeast England, and is 100% air cooled with eight 2.1-meter stainless steel and plastic fans that suck cold air from outside into the building, where it then runs through filters and into the data center through the floors.

A few other eco-friendly tricks HP has utilized include using light colored server racks that better reflect light and drop the need for additional lighting by 40%, and the building has tanks for harvesting rainwater, which can be used to humidify the air cycling into the building when needed.

With this system - and with a big thanks to the chilly geographic location for the building - the halls of the data center are kept at about 75 degrees. Even running at full load, HP's newest data center has a PUE (power usage effectiveness) of a tiny 1.2 - putting it in competition with some of the most efficient centers by Google and Microsoft.

Computer World reports "HP will use the data center to compete with companies such as IBM for IT services and management contracts, a growing source of revenue that requires secure data centers."

It's no wonder companies are competing so fiercely for the most efficient data center - coming this summer Energy Star will start auditing and certifying the top 25% of data centers with the best efficiency levels. That will give companies a big edge for getting new customers.

Follow Jaymi on Twitter: @JaymiHeimbuch
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Tags: Computing | Electricity | Energy Efficiency

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