What is Data Center Cooling?
Data centers require a cool environment for the processor to function successfully, because excess heat can damage the systems and result in data loss or interrupted information flow. In data centers, cooling systems are used to prevent such damage and preserve the air temperature within acceptable limits.
Data center cooling solution is used to maintain ideal environmental conditions for information technology equipment (ITE) operation. The technology eliminates ITE heat and transfers it to the heat sink. Thus, it can be inferred that data centers cannot function efficiently and can result in a system failure in the absence of an appropriate cooling system.
Why do data centers need cooling?
One of the most important and less understanding processes in the critical IT environment is data center heat removal. As the latest computer equipment is smaller and uses the same or more electricity than the replaced equipment, more heat is generated in data centers. Precision cooling and heat rejection systems are used for collecting and transporting this undesired heat energy into the outer atmosphere.
1. Increasing need for energy-efficient data center facilities
The energy consumption in the ICT sector has increased exponentially in recent years. The data centers, recently experiencing unprecedented growth in size and population, form an integral part of today’s ICT. The Tech giants such as Google, IBM and Microsoft have large cloud and app hosting data centers. Several studies have been established for energy consumption of data centers, these studies emphasize upon the rising need for evolving strategies for energy efficiency. Heat generated from highly populated data centers requires huge cooling units to maintain the temperatures within the operational range.
2. Rising shift toward digital transformation through connected technology
Lately, digital transformation has gathered a lot of attention. It not only includes deployment of new technologies, but also the alteration of business processes and models that can completely leverage such technologies. It helps organizations to obtain unmatched productivity levels, improve customer experience, influence innovation and enlighten competitive benefits. Digital transformation is altering the nature of the data center, and novel technologies are rapidly placing more demand on data centers and data center services.
Types of Solutions
- Air Conditioners
In basic terms, air conditioning involves removing heat and humidity from the inside of an occupied area to improve the occupants' comfort. In both domestic and commercial environments, air conditioning can be used. This process ensures a more comfortable interior environment for humans, however air conditioning is also used to cool/dehumidify roommates filled with electronic heat-producing devices such as computer servers, power amplifiers, and some sensitive products, like artifacts, even for display and storage.
- Precision Air Conditioners
Precision air conditioning is designed to manage sensitive heat (humidity without the emanation of a machine), while latent heat (humidity with the emanation of persons) is managed with comfort/standard air conditioners. Designed for many different applications, high-precision air conditioning including cooling of the data center, medium and low-density server environments, telecom switching systems, medical operating theaters, and a clean-room environment is essential.
Data centers constitute a mix of computing elements, networking infrastructure, storage systems along with power management and cooling capabilities all of which offer opportunities for improving energy efficiency and achieving more sustainable data centers. With air-cooled chillers, heat is removed from the returning chilled water is rejected to a device called an air-cooled condenser that is typically integrated with the chiller. This type of chiller is known as a packaged chiller and can also be integrated into a cooling facility module.
Types of Structures in the Data Center Cooling technology:
- Row Based Cooling
Row-based data center cooling is generally considered as a “cold air supply” architecture which employs row-based coolers. Row-based cooling, however, is, in fact, a “hot air capture” architecture that neutralizes hot air from IT systems before it mixes with room air. Row-based cooling offers several side benefits other than cooling. The row-based design allows cooling and redundancy to meet the actual requirements of specific rows.
- Room Based Cooling
Room-based cooling provides cold air from one part of the room for the entire room. Room-based cooling allows quick re-configuration of the floor tiles to change the cooling distribution pattern and allows cooling to be shared across all racks of the data center with low densities. The CRAH units are connected to the room and are simultaneously operated for the total heating load in a room with room- based cooling. A room-based cooling consists of one or more air conditioners supplying cool air with ducts, dampers, vents etc., or a raised floor system or overhead return plenums may be partly restrictive in supply and/or return.
- Rack-Based Cooling
The rack-based cooling system refers either to cooling systems often used at small data centers, or to complementary cooling systems in high-density environments within large data centers. The technology used in the cooling systems allows cold and hot air to move through both the servers and the heat exchangers. In-rack cooling provides an ideal computing environment, i.e. a thermally neutral climate for other parts of the room. The rack airflow paths are even shorter and precisely defined compared with room-based or row-based cooling so that airflows are completely immune to any installation variations or room constraints.
The nature of the data center changes with digital transformation, and new technologies constantly demand new data centers and services. Many companies nowadays invest more in data center and IT staff. Indeed, in the last three years, most respondents from AFCOM’s Data Center State report have indicated that their invested in IT and data center staff have been increased. Investment needs on-site coverage, better training and certification requirements, and the retention costs of existing employees are the main drivers for increased investment. The worldwide market for Data Center Cooling market size is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 13.4% over the forecast period.