High-density servers offer a significant performance per watt benefit. However, depending on the deployment, they can present a significant cooling challenge. Vendors are now designing servers that can demand over 40 kW of cooling per rack. With most data centers designed to cool an average of no more than 3-5 kW per rack, innovative strategies must be used for proper cooling of high-density equipment. This paper provides ten approaches for increasing cooling efficiency, cooling capacity, and power density in existing data centers with low average power densities.
Installation of the latest server technology and making them highly virtualized provides many benefits. However, these servers – if deployed as compactly as their size allows – draw two to five times the per-rack power of traditional servers and generate heat output that can easily cause thermal shutdown if proactive cooling strategies are not employed. To avoid outright equipment failures, unexplained slowdowns, and shortened equipment life, it is becoming critically important to implement a regular health check regime to ensure that cooling equipment is operating within the design values of capacity, efficiency, and redundancy. The solutions outlined in this paper will help keep the data center operating at peak efficiency to maintain the business processes it supports and to prevent future problems. The guidelines in solutions 1-8 will help keep a typical data center operating within its original design limits. Solution 9 shows how supplemental devices can be used to improve air distribution and, solution 10 discusses changing scalable cooling air distribution architecture that can address high density cooling applications.