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Green IT for Dummies® by Jhana Senxian, Arnold Reinhold, Jeffrey Hill, Carol Baroudi

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Chapter 10. Cooling Your Data Center

In This Chapter

  • Planning to improve your data center cooling

  • Understanding what heats up your data center

  • Getting the basics about air conditioning

  • Measuring your present cooling system's efficiency

  • Taking steps to go greener

As you may know, computers in data centers consume large amounts of electrical power. A single server rack can use 10 kilowatts, and some analysts project that the power per rack might climb to 30 kW or more over the next decade. Except for a few watts sent down data lines leaving the building, all that power is converted to heat. That heat must be removed from the data center to keep temperatures from climbing to levels that can cause the electronic equipment to fail. (The people working in the facility won't be too happy, either.)

Cooling accounts for 65 percent of a data center's energy use in many data centers. But the good news is that if you follow best practices, you can reduce that number substantially — to as low as 20 percent. After virtualization, improved cooling represents the biggest opportunity for IT energy savings.

In this chapter, we tell you what the main sources of heat are in your data center. Also in this chapter, you get a crash course in basic air conditioning principles, see how to measure your data center's efficiency, and get a close look at various approaches to getting the hot and cold in the optimal places. Green IT, here we come!

Improving Data Center Cooling Takes Planning

Data center cooling is one ...

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