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The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) states that there’s a 93 percent chance that one year between now and 2026 will be the hottest on record. Not only will these record high temperatures have an impact on our environment and lives, but they are also expected to change the way in which we safeguard technology. For example, how do you cool data centers while the outside temperature keeps getting higher and higher?
This problem has been discussed previously before due to several failings of data centers around the world caused by cooling failures. That weather shift will have an impact on all human-made infrastructure—including the data centers that keep our planet’s collective knowledge online. According to wired.com, 45 percent of US data centers have experienced an extreme weather event that threatened their ability to operate.
Data center cooling systems use a complicated, multi-stage process. This may include analyzing temperature data from a weather station close to the point where the data center will be built. The design conditions are being increasingly elevated—but data center companies, and the clients they’re working for, operate as profit-driven enterprises. Data suggests that the cost of building data centers has risen in almost every market in recent years, and construction companies are advised to keep costs down.
Liquid cooling technology offers a more practical solution. Data centers are currently in an era of air-based cooling, but liquid cooling—where liquid is passed by equipment, transferring the heat and siphoning it away—could be a better way to keep temperatures down. However, it isn’t widely used because it requires a combined knowledge of cooling and IT equipment.
Outside of the IT equipment itself, the next-biggest consumer of energy in data centers is the equipment used to keep it cool.
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