Challenges of Cooling Data Centers

One of the major critical challenges faced by modern data center is cooling system. Today’s IT system has created new cooling related problems. These are new problems which could have been foreseen when data centers were developed 30 years ago. Some of the challenges in the data center cooling process can be packed in the following categories:

  • Availability
  • Manageability
  • Lifecycle costs
  • Maintenance
  • Adaptability

For many data center adaptability requirements still remain as the biggest challenges regarding cooling. This challenge involves problem regarding cooling of high density rack system and uncertainty of timing, location and quantity of high density rack systems. The cooling system within a data center should be scalable and flexible and with some redundant cooling feature for consistent and steady performance. Cooling data centers’ requirements in regards to Lifecycle of the system shares many features in common with adaptable solution. Data centers need pre-engineered modular and standardized solutions.

Data centers are often unable to predict future load of a data center cooling system, even the prediction of load characteristic offer greater challenge. Once a proper design is established data centers have to perform some best cooling practices. Some of the cooling practices are given below:

Determine The Critical Load and Heat Load:

Determining load helps data centers to know how many number of cooling systems need to be deployed within the available space. Companies need to include heat conducted from surrounding space.

Establish Power requirements as per Rack Location Unit (RLU):

The power density of data centers is defined based on the number of cabinets or racks available in data centers. Generally all manufacturers produce cabinets of the same size. The Rack Location Unit provides RLU power density, this density is increasing every year. The main challenge faced by data centers in predicting cooling for variable RLU densities.

Determine Room Power Distribution:

There are two main decisions in determining room power distribution one is where to place PDU (Power Distribution Units) and where to run power cables under or over the floor.

Determine Cabinet Power Distribution:

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It is very essential to understand the impact of power distribution on cooling, as it is related to air flow within the cabinets.

Determining Suitable Cooling Methodology:

After determining the cooling zones helps you to decide the type of air conditioners will be suitable for your data center. We come across four types of air conditioners such as Air cooler, condenser water cooler, glycol cooler and Chilled cooler. In addition to these data center managers need to determine how heat from the data center will be removed and what type of cooling redundancy will be required for a particular method.

Establish Cooling Performance Monitoring System:

It is very important for data center to develop and deploy a monitoring system which is capable of monitoring each cabinet cooling zone, each row and each room. Once the effective cooling performance is reached for a particular load profile, we can expect some changes. So it’s suitable to include all the parameters so that equipments can be changed, added or moved quickly to cater the changes.

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