The data center "cooling crisis" was the focus of a June 6 panel discussion at the North American Network Operators Group (NANOG) conference, with panelists from facility operators Equinix, Terremark, Switch & Data as well as vendors Sun, Juniper and Cisco. Notes from the panel were posted to the NANOG mailing list. While they are sometimes cryptic, they include some interesting tidbits. Here are a couple:
- Power usage for Akamai installations at the NAP of the Americas in Miami run as high 386 watts per square foot. Terremark's Josh Snowhorn says other high-density installations may also test the 400 watt barrier, while most carriers don't exceed 100 watts for their racks and cabinets. Remember back in 2001-03 when providers started routinely engineering data centers for 100 watts per square foot and above? There were plenty of skeptics at the time who believed those specs were extravagant and far-fetched.
- More data centers will be located in suburbs and rural areas as facilities follow cheap power and enough space for open floor layouts that provide maximum flexibility for designing high-density air flow cooling. Regions that can offer cheap power and fiber connectivity - like central Washington, future home to Microsoft and Yahoo centers - are in the catbird seat.