August 22, 2012
Korean Data Centers Consider Turning Up the Heat
By Rich Steeves
TMCnet Web Editor
As any data center provider will tell you, one of the biggest challenges with running a data center is keeping it cool. Companies spend a great deal of money on cooling systems for their data centers, and many businesses have been investing heavily in researching green alternatives to traditional air conditioning. But Intel (News - Alert) is trying a completely different tactic to cut down on its cooling bill: turning up the heat.
Or, rather, the company is going to run its data centers at a higher temperature. The traditional temperature can range anywhere from 64 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, but some companies have been pushing that boundary. Facebook (News - Alert), for example, reportedly plans to run its new North Carolina facility in the range of 80 to 85 degrees, while Intel is already looking into running a New Mexico data center at a steamy 92 degrees. Other companies are surely taking note of this trend.
Not to outdo itself, Intel is looking to operate a data center at an even higher temperature. It is partnering with a South Korean telecommunications company to test out a facility that would run at a balmy 100 degrees. KT (News - Alert) will launch this high-temperature test at a data center outside of Seoul, with plans to expand the strategy to 10 other facilities soon afterward.
The companies estimate that for every degree Celsius that they can raise the average temperature of the data centers, they can reduce energy costs by seven percent. If this plan works, expect to see data centers all over the United States follow suit. The number of data centers in the country is on the rise, and more and more companies are starting to be aware of the amount of energy and money that it costs to keep these facilities cool. Turning up the heat could help them from burning through their profits.
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Edited by Jamie Epstein