Earlier this morning, a spokesperson for the social networking giant Facebook’s Open Compute Project has announced its intentions to operate its new datacenter at a high server-inlet temperature.
The move will be made in place of using air cooling servers found in other datacentres.
The first implementation will go into effect in its newest development in Forest City, N.C. Member of the Open Compute Project team, Yael Maguire said the temperature in the datacenter will be raised from 80°F to 85°F, in addition to raising the level of relative humidity from 65 percent to 90 percent.
Macguire wrote on the Facebook blog: “Our teams have learned a number of things over the past few months of operation, which have led to changes in our second phase of Prineville as well as our new data center in Forest City, North Carolina […] Comparing our first phase of Prineville with how we plan to operate Forest City, we’ve raised the inlet temperature for each server from 80°F to 85°, 65 percent relative humidity to 90 percent, and a 25°F Delta T to 35°. This will further reduce our environmental impact and allow us to have 45 percent less air handling hardware than we have in Prineville.”
For those of you unfamiliar with the term “Delta T,” it refers to the difference in temperature between the “hot” and “cold” isles of Facebook’s datacenters. This means the “hot” isle currently in the centre will increase to 125°F.
According to Data Center Knowledge, “Raising the baseline temperature inside the data center – known as a set point – can save money spent on air conditioning. By some estimates, data center managers can save 4 percent in energy costs for every degree of upward change in the set point. But nudging the thermostat higher may also leave less time to recover from a cooling failure, and is only appropriate for companies with a strong understanding of the cooling conditions in their facility.”
As working in the increased heat would prove to be truly unpleasant for datacenter workers, Facebook has designed the Open Compute Servers in the new datacenter with cabling on the front of the server so they can perform maintenance while standing in the “cold” isle.
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