Intel: Servers Do Fine With Outside Air

This might come as a shock, but one of the biggest expenses in Data Center operations – air conditioning – responsible for up to 50% of all power requirements, might be based on a myth:

Do servers really need a cool, sterile environment to be reliable? New research from Intel suggests that in favorable climates, servers may perform well with almost no management of the environment, creating huge savings in power and cooling with negligible equipment failure.

Intel’s findings are detailed in a new white paper reviewing a proof-of-concept using outside air to cool servers in the data center – a technique known as air-side economization. Intel conducted a 10-month test to evaluate the impact of using only outside air to cool a high-density data center, even as temperatures ranged between 64 and 92 degrees and the servers were covered with dust.

Intel’s result: “We observed no consistent increase in server failure rates as a result of the greater variation in temperature and humidity, and the decrease in air quality,” Intel’s Don Atwood and John Miner write in their white paper. “This suggests that existing assumption

[From Intel: Servers Do Fine With Outside Air « Data Center Knowledge]

It will be very interesting to see what Steve O’Donnell at The Hot Aisle says about this.

1 Comment Intel: Servers Do Fine With Outside Air

  1. Steve O'Donnell


    I have been saying this for years. Outside air does not impact server reliability adversely, in fact my experience at BT is that reliability improves as the mean temperature year round is reduced. After winning 3 industry awards for the work we did and saving TW/hours of electricity at BT, I am just amazed at how long the rest of the industry is taking to catch up.



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