For most data centers, the primary cooling challenge isn't the volume of chilled air, but getting that chilled air to the place where it's needed most. Hewlett Packard today offered journalists a look at its Dynamic Smart Cooling technology, which is designed to provide more precise targeting of air-conditioning systems in response to changes in server temperatures. The system deploys sensors throughout the data center, which communicate with the AC systems. The "smart" piece is the system's use of computational fluid dynamics to understand the flow of air within the data center and route the cold air to the hot server.
HP says the approach can cut cooling costs by 20 to 45 percent as it turns AC systems on or off as temperatures rise and fall. In a demonstration at HP Labs in Palo Alto, Calif., journalists saw power usage in an adjacent data center decrease from 117 kilowatts to 72 kilowatts as the DSC system took charge. The system has been in development for three and a half years, but will be available by mid-2007, according to HP, which is implementing the system in its own new data centers as it consolidates its infrastructure.
"DSC solves a big problem the IT industry has been struggling with for quite some time," said Peter Gross, chief executive officer and chief technology officer, EYP Mission Critical Facilities, Inc. "DSC not only dramatically improves the energy performance of cooling systems in data centers but also delivers improvements in overall data center reliability. It is the first step toward the ultimate goal of this industry