The real value in PDUs for high temp environments

The real value in PDUs for high temp environments

Smart PDUs can help high temperature environments remain energy efficient.

Heat is generally a no-no in the data center. The hot air generated by constantly working server equipment can be mitigated through the use of efficient cooling systems designed to either flush hot air out and usher cold air in or hydrocooling equipment to keep servers from overheating. When servers overheat, they can become overworked, experiencing outages or even damage to the equipment itself. In extreme cases, overheated equipment can even lead to sparking and fires in the data room.

However, high-temperature environments have been shown to be more energy efficient in the long run, and more facilities are beginning to set their server room temperature a little higher than it would have been in the past.

What does the ASHRAE have to say about it?
The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers dictates what the accepted temperature should be in the data center. In previous regulations, the society's committee devoted to data center efficiency had ruled on the side of caution when it came to the maximum temperature allowed in the data center. With recent advances in server room technology, however, the group will be looking to expand the temperature and humidity guidelines in the near future, according to Data Center Knowledge contributor Yevgeniy Sverdlik. The society's TC 9.9 committee has shown in recent years that energy efficiency can be boosted when data centers maintain a higher temperature, because they can use more free air cooling.

What does this mean for infrastructure providers looking to save energy and money? They can potentially set their data room temperature and humidity levels higher than they could in previous years.

Having the right environment
Power consumption and cooling systems are inextricably linked. Cooling systems utilize the power coming into the facility, and if that energy isn't distributed properly, equipment may not maintain the proper temperature. It pays for data center managers to leverage this relationship between power and cooling to their advantage. According to Energy.gov, U.S. energy consumption from IT equipment has increased by nearly 36 percent since 2005, making efficiency even more important to today's facility operators. Purchasing efficient cooling systems can help keep energy costs down, and the cost savings from using less energy can help purchase the cooling systems.

This link between power and cooling is where power distribution units come in. PDUs allow proper energy flow to all of the parts of the facility, allowing data center managers to keep an eye on where the most power is being used and react accordingly. In this way, PDUs impact server room decision-making, helping facilities to maintain their current temperature in the most energy efficient way possible. According to Energy Star, purchasing energy-efficient PDUs can mean cost savings all around. Metered PDUs can provide a way to understand how workloads affect server performance and can generate important data about the possibility of hotspots in the data center, as well. In this manner, power distribution maintains its connection to cooling, because if a certain rack is taking up more cooling energy, the PDU will show it, and managers would then be able to make decisions about where to invest money in beefing up cooling strategies or diverting more power to that specific rack.

PDU to the rescue
Data center managers should invest in a PDU they know will provide them the data necessary to make heating and cooling decisions in the data center. When PDUs are efficient, they can be extremely important tools in maintaining a server room environment. Smart PDUs like the ones offered by Geist can make a difference when it comes to cooling systems. Being able to balance the power output throughout the facility helps servers stay cool without wasting too much energy in the first place.