Amidst all the impressive and expensive equipment in the modern data center, it is one of the more mundane items that helps keep everything running smoothly. The design and installation of effective rack solutions is a major consideration for any installation, from a few servers to thousands.
Keeping It Cool: The Moore’s Law for Data Centers
Few people realize the immense amount of heat generated by today’s servers and the data centers that contain them. While technology continues to address this problem, the simple physics of the electronics in computer circuits result in heat generation.
In fact, according to Yogendra Joshi, a professor at Georgia Tech, more than one-third of all electricity consumed by data centers goes to the function of server cooling. He draws a parallel to the well-known Moore’s Law by observing, “…the growth of cooling requirements parallels the growth of computing power, which roughly doubles every 18 months.”
As the average data center adds ever more servers, the cumulative problem of heat is a major design consideration. That is one reason every angle possible to provide server cooling is addressed, including a variety of rack solutions.
A great deal of engineering and research makes modern server racking more than just a way to stack individual blades. In addition to providing a cooling function, racks must also provide easy and efficient access to units for maintenance and upgrades, as well as maximize the total storage capacity.
One impressive result of these efforts is the Modular Rack Cooling System 13 from Rack Solutions. Designed to be compatible with a number of systems, including the Open Frame Rack and Telco Relay 2 Post Rack, the System 13 uses a standard 115 VAC/15 AMP power cable. The unit can be plugged into any power strip or PDU, and is mounted on durable casters making it both convenient and portable.
When considering server cooling needs, devices like the System 13 are important because of their use of new cooling technologies, such as the close-coupled cooling concept. Additionally, the clever design of these units gets cooling air directly to the servers without increasing the footprint of the racks themselves.
It takes basic, as well as exotic, engineering and concepts to keep today’s data centers in operation.