December 27th, 2012 By: Rich Miller
Interxion Readies Staff Sleeping Pods for Olympics: Should data center staff be prepared to hunker down in data centers for days to keep customer servers online? Data center operators in London confronted this issue prior to the 2012 Summer Olympics, as huge crowds were expected to test the transit system. The data center team at Interxion showed off its solution that will ensure that its London tech staff can be on site to keep things running smoothly: “sleeping pods” at its London data center campus, allowing staff to sleep amongst the racks to ensure that the facility will be fully staffed throughout the Games. While the Olympics didn’t test this need, many data center staffers slept in their facilities in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.
Intel Embraces Submerging Servers in Oil (Sept. 4): Will the appetite for ever-more powerful computing clusters push users to new cooling technologies, like submerging servers in liquid coolant? If so, Intel will be ready. The chipmaker is optimizing its technology for servers immersed in oil, an approach that may soon see broader adoption in the high performance computing (HPC) sector. “We continue to explore server designs, and we’re evaluating how (immersion cooling) can change the way data centers are designed and operated,” said Mike Patterson, senior power and thermal architect at Intel. ”It’s obviously quite a change in mindset.” Intel has just concluded a year-long test with immersion cooling equipment from Green Revolution Cooling, and affirmed that the technology is highly efficient and safe for servers. The testing, conducted at an Intel data center in New Mexico, may mark a turning point in market readiness for submerged servers, if recent experience with Intel’s embrace of emerging data center designs is any indication.
Too Hot for Humans, But Google Servers Keep Humming (March 23) Raising the temperature in server racks can make a data center more efficient. But what happens if the room gets too hot for people? If you’re Google, the servers keep humming along while the humans retreat to climate-controlled sections of the building. That’s what’s been happening at Google’s data center in Belgium, which was the company’s first facility to rely entirely upon fresh air for cooling, instead of energy-hungry chillers. That approach has helped the facility become Google’s most efficient data center. But on the warmest days, staff clear out while the machines keep working.
A Glimpse Inside Google’s Data Centers: In May Google published photos of some of its 900,000 servers as part of a larger presentation that explains how an email makes its way across the Internet. The images show rows of racks, fully packed with servers and bathed in the green light of the LEDs on each server tray. It was just a taste of disclosure to come, as five months later Google would provide a much more detailed look inside its data centers.
Google: Our Data Centers Are Good Neighbors (Jan 19): Google said today that all its company-built data centers in the United States have earned independent certifications for environmental impact and workplace safety. The company said the certifications were a sign of its commitment to maintaining the highest standards for its data center operations. While acronym-laden certifications might not seem like exciting stuff, Google says that meeting these standards are a key component of corporate responsibility and being a good citizen in the communities where its data centers are located.
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