Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Google data centre does away with chillers

A couple of weeks ago Data Centre Knowledge reported that Google is now operating a data centre in Belgium that has no chillers to assist the cooling.

The company - which, as we have reported in the past, has some very high efficiency ratings for its data centres, as well as some novel ideas on how to power and cool them - is relying on 'free cooling', i.e. using the outside air. Apparently the climate in Belgium is such that free cooling is available almost all year round.

It's that 'almost' that's intriguing - what's the company going to do on those odd days (apparently around seven on average) when it is too hot?

Google says that it will turn off equipment as necessary to reduce temperatures and also shift the load to other data centres. It means the company will be watching the weather closely in the summer ready to take any necessary action.

But, as the article points out, it raises interesting possibilities. A company with the global data centre coverage that Google has could start to dynamically switch workloads to maximise savings from off-peak energy in different time zones - a 'follow-the-moon strategy'!

It's going to have to get more reactive, anyway. If Belgium has seven days when it's too hot now, what about when climate change starts to impact ...

© The Green IT Review

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