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The 100 Degree Data Center

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the so-take-off-all-your-clothes dept.

IT 472

miller60 writes "Are you ready for the 100-degree data center? Rackable Systems has introduced a new enclosure that it says can run high-density racks safely in environments as hot as 104 degrees (40 degrees C), offering customers the option of saving energy in their data center. Most data centers operate in a range between 68 and 74 degrees. Raising the thermostat can lower the power bill, allowing data centers to use less power for cooling. But higher temperatures can be less forgiving in the event of a cooling failure, and not likely to be welcomed by employees working in the data center."

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Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27255339)

Its better

Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (5, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255369)

Agreed. Stupid sumary.

I had this image of shimmering heat, rising steam, and burning barrels inside a post apocalyptic data center.

It wasn't until line 2 that my image was ruined.

Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (5, Insightful)

Mr2cents (323101) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255887)

When is this Fahrenheit unit going to die? Last time I checked, only a couple of developing countries were using it (Birma, USA).

Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27255433)

You care about the metric system, but can't even be bothered to spell correctly.

Sign of a true nerd... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27255695)

Spelling is illogical, so why even bother?

Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (2, Funny)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255747)

You care about the metric system, but can't even be bothered to punctuate correctly.

Fixed that for you.

Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (5, Funny)

Quothz (683368) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255913)

You care about the metric system, but can't even be bothered to punctuate correctly. Fixed that for you.

You care about punctuation but can't even be bothered to punctuate correctly.

You've helped maintain the old Internet tradition: All grammar flames contain at least one grammatical error. You should never separate a compound predicate from its subject with a comma.

Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27255453)

but in america even among nerds it's uncommon to use metric when referring to room temperatures. i think most of us could not tell you whether 20C would be a comfortable temperature vs. 40C without piping it through google.

Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (5, Funny)

Owlyn (1390895) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255817)

"My belief, as an American, is that if I have to start understanding the metric system, then the terrorists have won." -- Dave Barry

Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (5, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255497)

Actually, this is an American site, so use something that most Americans can intuitively relate to. I have no problem working with most metric measurements (indeed, I did so for a number of years working in machining) but temperature just doesn't compute for me unless I do the calculations in my head.

Fahrenheit just makes more sense to most of us. 30s = cold, 40s = chilly, 50s = cool, 60s = decent/might need a windbreaker, 70s = nice, 80s = warm, 90s = hot, etc, etc. Celsius is no where near that intuitive and was as arbitrarily defined as Fahrenheit was.

Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (1)

kcbanner (929309) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255519)

But we get to say its below zero outside, which usually means its time to put on a sweater instead of a tshirt.

Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255615)

Yeah but below zero in Celsius loses it's special meaning when you live in an cold climate. Below zero Fahrenheit on the other hand.... that's freeze your nose hairs weather ;)

WTF in my original comment was "trolling", BTW? Pointing out that /. is an American site or having the nerve to come out against one aspect of the metric system?

Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (1)

Quothz (683368) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255765)

WTF in my original comment was "trolling", BTW? Pointing out that /. is an American site or having the nerve to come out against one aspect of the metric system?

Sir, or madam, I salute you. I haven't seen a troll that artfully done in years. These days, trolling seems to be about spouting bile and filth, rather than dropping a comment precisely calculated to raise folks' hackles. If you didn't intend it as a troll, for heaven's sake, don't admit it. If I had points, I'd mod you troll as a compliment.

Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255835)

If I had points, I'd mod you troll as a compliment.

Would that be a +1 troll? ;)

Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (5, Insightful)

psergiu (67614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255629)

Fahrenheit is stupid.
Celsius on the other hand is much easier to remember:
0 - Water freezes
10 - Cool
20 - Nice
30 - Hot
40 - Scorching hot
50 - Burn sensation
100 - Water boils

And slashdot.org is not an american-only site as it's domain name ends in .org and not in .us

Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (1)

Glith (7368) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255687)

Okay for knowing whether or not it will snow, but how often are you caring what temperature water is going to boil relative to the current temperature outside?

Fahrenheit maps the normal range of temperatures for the area it was created:
0 - As cold as it normally ever gets
100 - As hot as it normally ever gets

Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (2, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255775)

Fahrenheit is stupid.

Wow, how insightful and deep. You have to think real hard to come up with such compelling commentary?

Celsius on the other hand is much easier to remember:
0 - Water freezes
10 - Cool
20 - Nice
30 - Hot
40 - Scorching hot
50 - Burn sensation
100 - Water boils

Surely you mean water freezes and boils at one standard atmosphere, right? Which brings me back to my point about it being just as arbitrarily defined as Fahrenheit was. Fahrenheit also offers more precision without using decimals.

And slashdot.org is not an american-only site as it's domain name ends in .org and not in .us

Domain names don't mean jack. Slashdot is American owned with a largely American readership. Yet someone still managed to whine about the fucking summary using American measurements, in spite the fact that the metric measurements were also provided. Hmm.......

Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (5, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255667)

Fahrenheit just makes more sense to most of us. 30s = cold, 40s = chilly, 50s = cool, 60s = decent/might need a windbreaker, 70s = nice, 80s = warm, 90s = hot, etc, etc. Celsius is no where near that intuitive and was as arbitrarily defined as Fahrenheit was.

Its not intuitive, its just what you're used to

Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255995)

Its not intuitive, its just what you're used to

What's the difference?

Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (1, Redundant)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255681)

Fahrenheit just makes more sense to most of us. 30s = cold, 40s = chilly, 50s = cool, 60s = decent/might need a windbreaker, 70s = nice, 80s = warm, 90s = hot, etc, etc. Celsius is no where near that intuitive and was as arbitrarily defined as Fahrenheit was.

Arbitrarily defined? 0C = Freezing point of water at 1 atmosphere (within 0.01C); 100C = Boiling point of water at 1 atmosphere (within 0.02C). Celsius makes more sense to everyone else who uses it - why would "30s [F] = cold" be more sensible than "0-10C = cold"?

0C = Freezing
10C = Chilly/cold
20C = Warm (around room temperature)
30C = Hot
40C = Very hot
100C = You're being cooked by cannibals

This is no less sensible than fahrenheit, the only difference being celsius has a logical and practical 0-point which makes freezing conditions instantly obvious.

Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27255767)

Lol, you just proved his point, idiot.

Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (1, Informative)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255777)

The zero of Fahrenheit -- the freezing point of saturated brine -- is no less sensible than the Celcius zero of the freezing point of water. Fahrenheit is also more precise with fewer digits in the ranges most people deal with day to day.

Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (4, Insightful)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255947)

The zero of Fahrenheit -- the freezing point of saturated brine -- is no less sensible than the Celcius zero of the freezing point of water. Fahrenheit is also more precise with fewer digits in the ranges most people deal with day to day.

Yeah, because I'm always having to deal with saturated brine. I can't tell you how many times I've gone out driving in sub-zero temperatures and nearly skidded on all that saturated brine ice.

Fahrenheit is also more precise with fewer digits in the ranges most people deal with day to day

What? Nobody needs to be more accurate than 1C for day-to-day casual usage. For anything else there's this neat thing called a fraction that people can use.

Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27255991)

0 = Water freezes, 100 = Water boils seems like a much more natural and logical scale than something like salt water: how often do you need to worry about the sea freezing? Now, it's certainly a common occurrence to need to know about frozen water.

Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27256011)

Agreed, using brine to define the scale is just as sensible as using water. Why, just the other day I walked past a brine lake and it was frozen. "Wow," I thought, "exactly 0F!" And then when I was at home boiling some brine, which I do every day, I was like "Wow! My brine is boiling! That must means it has reached exactly 100F!" (*)

The Fahrenheit scale is awesome.

(*) What do you mean it doesn't work that way?

Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27256009)

Well...shall we count from zero or one? Counting from one makes sense, but counting from zero is tradition... Either way works, and we have to convert between the two.

In reality, either of these metrics have arbitrarily defined points, just like the counting systems in programming languages. Whether we start from 0 or 1 depends on who made up the language.

Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27255701)

this is an American site

And merka is a christian nation dagnubbit. Ya'll should be usin de proper bible units of cubits and hogs heads.

Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255749)

as arbitrarily defined

For regular humans, maybe. For the scientific community, not so much.

Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255901)

For the scientific community, not so much.

I need something useful for the scientific community when deciding [weather.gov] what to wear today?

For regular humans, maybe.

I think you just proved my point.

Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (2, Insightful)

Blkdeath (530393) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255763)

Fahrenheit just makes more sense to most of us. 30s = cold, 40s = chilly, 50s = cool, 60s = decent/might need a windbreaker, 70s = nice, 80s = warm, 90s = hot, etc, etc. Celsius is no where near that intuitive and was as arbitrarily defined as Fahrenheit was.

Celsius, however, does not rely solely on memorization to "make sense". It's based on certain scientific principals that remain as yet unwavering. 0C is the freezing point of water, 100C is the boiling point of water. It's quite simple to deduce the relative levels of comfort in between; when you know that it's 0C outside the precipitation that's falling isn't going to be rain but instead the frozen variety. When it's 40C outside you know it's pretty damn warm, and when it pushes the 50s and 60s you start to get to holding temperature of food. Anybody who's ever made skin-on contact with a warming oven knows that this is neither pleasant nor comfortable for humans.

Had America been using a system of letters for the past two and a half centuries that would also "make sense" to you because you would have memorized the notion that C = cold, D = chilly, E = cool, F = decent/might need a windbreaker, G = nice, H = warm, I = hot, etc, etc.

Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (0)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255781)

Or you can use this moment to try to push through the adaptation of the metric system. How about it? Proud and retarded or logical and unified?

Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27255799)

But Celcius is intuitive to the rest of the world.

Zero = freezing point of water
20-25 = room temperature
100 = boiling point of water

Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27255821)

Fahrenheit just makes more sense to most of us. 30s = cold, 40s = chilly, 50s = cool, 60s = decent/might need a windbreaker, 70s = nice, 80s = warm, 90s = hot, etc, etc. Celsius is no where near that intuitive and was as arbitrarily defined as Fahrenheit was.

I'm an American, and while I prefer to read weather reports with Fahrenheit, Celsius is not much harder.
0-5=cold
5-10=chilly
10-15=cool
15-20=not quite T-shirt weather
20-25=nice
25-30=warm
30-35=hot
35-40=drink lots of water and stay in the shade
40+=danger will robinson.

Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (0)

jrumney (197329) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255889)

Thanks for pointing out that those temperatures are in Farenheit. I was trying to imagine the cost of building servers out of components rated above 104 degrees C, and trying to figure out whether the electricity savings would be worth it over the lifetimes of the servers. Even the quoted 69 - 74 degrees seemed a little close to the limit for standard electronic components.

Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255983)

I posit that you've (plural) just made those definitions up and that they are only intuitive because you've defined them that way.

Furthermore, I think you'd easily come up with similar definitions using Celsius once you get used to it. For example, I have a pretty good idea how I'd feel in whatever Celsius number you care to pick...perhaps just split it into 5s...and you'd feel like it's just as intuitive.

0 freezing
05 very cold
510 cold
1015 chilly
1520 slightly chilly
2025 comfortable
2530 warm
bla bla

Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255647)

Absolutelty. I thought it would be like a sauna, when in fact it is just a warm room. I have been in computer rooms at 40 C (after cooling failure) and everything still ran OK until the cooling was fixed.

oil immersion (2, Funny)

tritonman (998572) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255723)

How about completely immersing the entire data center in oil? You may need some sort of SCUBA gear to to server maintenance though.

Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255725)

There is absolutely no advantage to Celsius over Fahrenheit. It is what you grow up with. If you argued Kelvin was better, I would agree as it has enough sense to start the scale at "zero". Is 20 Celsius twice as hot as 10 Celsius? No. Twenty Kelvin, though, is twice as hot as ten.

Other metric scales are many times more useful than imperial. Temperature is not one of them.

Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (1)

bobbagum (556152) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255861)

try calculating the energy needed to boil water using farenheit

Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255911)

So Celsius is based on on the freezing and melting point of water. At 1 atmosphere. Outside of that one case, what is the advantage?

Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (1)

fpophoto (1382097) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255885)

Is 20 Celsius twice as hot as 10 Celsius? No. Twenty Kelvin, though, is twice as hot as ten.

I do believe that's completely wrong. Can somebody back me up on that or am I missing something?

Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27255903)

Um... I thought Kelvin was metric, not Celsius.

Brrr... (1)

neowolf (173735) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255355)

I'd be happy with a 75-degree data center.

Re:Brrr... (2, Interesting)

0racle (667029) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255543)

We upped the temperature in our small data center to 75~80. Those systems in there run just fine at around (and a little higher then) room temperature. I didn't really see any need to keep it running like a refrigerator for no reason. The AC runs less, there must have been some money saved, but it is more comfortable in there the few times I have to do something there.

Re:Brrr... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27255993)

At 100 you get into different lower cost ideas for cooling (in some parts of the country). Such as a fan and a few filters to filter outside air.

Such as taller roofs and large slow spinning fans to exhaust air.

All you have to do is keep excess moisture out.

Now these computers have to coexist with others that do not tolerate that sort of temp range. So the data centers still remain on the coolish side.

Employees in datacenter? not where I work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27255361)

Depending on the climate this could be great. Would be more useful in Nothern Europe or Canada than in the hotter regions of this planet though.

As for the room temperature in the datacenter: who cares. 100 degrees or 0 degrees: it wasn't a hospitable climate anyway, noisy too, and with Halon fire extinguishers noone in their right mind would want to spend extended lengths of time in there anyway.

Re:Employees in datacenter? not where I work... (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255471)

Depending on the climate this could be great. Would be more useful in Nothern Europe or Canada than in the hotter regions of this planet though.

Wouldn't work here in Florida, I can tell you that. The humidity would likely be so bad at certain times of the year, it would short stuff out.

Our Servers (1)

Hasney (980180) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255365)

Our servers were recently moved to our sauna room to save space. Finally, a product that will work for all businesses who have done the same.

Sure (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255371)

it will run at 100 degrees Fahrenheit and not crash, but for how long?

Re:Sure (1)

Skater (41976) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255789)

If it's not going to crash, I'd say quite a long time.

Re:Sure (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255793)

I don't know, it seems both the UK and Australia's government data centers seem to be running very well at Fahrenheit 451! Makes Censorship of the internet soo much more efficient..

Drives (5, Interesting)

maz2331 (1104901) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255373)

I'd be mostly concerned about the lifespan of hard drives at these temperatures. The electronics can be easily made to tolerate heat, but drives are a weak link. The bearings and lubricants are especially vulnerable.

Re:Drives (1)

wiz31337 (154231) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255537)

Solid state drives, for the win.

Re:Drives (4, Interesting)

Alphager (957739) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255691)

I think the google hard-drive whitepaper (~2004? 2005?) said that hard-drives running in an environment around 38C were less prone to failures than cool hard-drives.

Re:Drives (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255807)

Put the SAN in a more controlled environment, you spend a little more on cabling but that's probably peanuts compared to the energy savings.

Re:Drives (3, Informative)

rackserverdeals (1503561) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255907)

It's really not so bad. Most drives are rated to about 55deg C (131F), 104F is only 40C.

The key is to design the server with sufficient airflow to try and keep the temperature of the components close to the room's temperature.

Looking at the Datasheet [rackable.com] , it looks like they are running the servers on DC power. That way, each server doesn't have it's own power supply, they just hook up to a separate power unit elsewhere in the rack.

The servers don't seem to have fans either. The fans are in the cabinet door.

This setup reminds me of the description of Google's search cluster racks I saw somewhere.

This could result in huge savings. I remember some Sun data center guy talking about one of their new data centers and how they were able to run it at 74F. He said each deg F the could keep the temperature up resulted in 4% power savings.

No Problem (1)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255383)

Throw some sand on the floor (it is conductive after all and the racks are enclosed anyways right?), Relax dress attire to allow for sandals and shorts (not too much relaxing, as IT personel and skimpy clothing rarely mix), and you will attract more IT personnel due to the tropic weather in your location!

Finally, my chance to wear shorts... (1)

Snowtide (989191) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255407)

and a hawaiian shirt to work. I wonder if they will let me put some beach sounds on the server room stereo. :)

Not just no, but hell no (5, Insightful)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255411)

I realize it's the trendy thing these days to target the data center as an area of concern monetarily, but this is a little ridiculous.

All it will take is one poor geek spending a 12 hour day in the data center for this to be deemed a horrible idea. (Like that never happens)

Seriously, this is retarded. If you do your cooling and power CORRECTLY, you won't have a ridiculous bill and your data center will be at a more reasonable temperature.

I hate really hot weather...you can always put on more clothes, but you reach a limit on what you can take off.

Re:Not just no, but hell no (1)

nobodylocalhost (1343981) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255523)

you might as well pipe water pass the walls next to the racks and install heat collectors, you'd be able to have free hot water for the bathrooms.

Re:Not just no, but hell no (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255525)

but you reach a limit on what you can take off.

Obviously you've never worked in the insurance or legal businesses ;)

Re:Not just no, but hell no (2, Funny)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255613)

Oops, sorry, you're 0-2.

I do gotta say, I LOVE spring time in Dallas. :D

Re:Not just no, but hell no (1)

clickety6 (141178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255699)

but you reach a limit on what you can take off.

With your average geek, that limit is reached sooner than with most people!

Re:Not just no, but hell no (1)

imajinarie (1057148) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255739)

Agreed. More effort should be focused on improving airflow than ambient temperature... but its largely about perception. At the data center I worked in, there were diffuser tiles placed at the entrance to give the effect of the room being cooler than what it was (74 deg F) when a guest walked in. We frequently got comments that it was "nice and cool" which was enough to satisfy the average manager. But in reality, instead of simply lowering the temps, we spent time maximizing airflow through the cabinets and effectiveness of the coolers (both location, cycle times, while maintaining an N+1). I too would distrust HDD's that are running at 100 deg F ambient... until we all migrate to solid state that is, hehe

It's not as unpleasant as you'd think (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27255437)

my rectum is 98.6 and Taco spends all day in there

New Dress Code. (3, Funny)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255459)

"...But higher temperatures can be less forgiving in the event of a cooling failure, and not likely to be welcomed by employees working in the data center."

Not welcome? That all depends, on if I can relocate my Data Center to a topless beach in Miami. Sure beats the current scenery, and the dress code would likely change.

Of course, the fact that you probably don't want to see your average IT person running around topless wearing a thong is another matter entirely...

Re:New Dress Code. (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255721)

if I can relocate my Data Center to a topless beach in Miami.

Dude, have you ever been to a topless beach? (Car analogy time) For every Ferrari you'll see, there will be 200 rusted broken-down Yugos.

I would consider relocating to said topless beach only if you enjoy rusted broken down Yugos. ;-P

Yugo, Igo, Wego... (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255873)

if I can relocate my Data Center to a topless beach in Miami.

Dude, have you ever been to a topless beach? (Car analogy time) For every Ferrari you'll see, there will be 200 rusted broken-down Yugos.

I would consider relocating to said topless beach only if you enjoy rusted broken down Yugos. ;-P

Great, now you've done it. I'll never convince Bobby to come now, he happens to drive a Yugo...

Use that waste heat! (5, Insightful)

turgid (580780) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255475)

Buildings provide hot water for washing hands etc. Cold water comes in from outside and is heated using electricity or gas to make hot water which costs money and energy.

Pipe the cold water (which is usually somewhere between 0 and 20 degrees C) through heat exchangers in the hot data centre before heating it up to working temperature with gas or electricity.

That way, you reduce the data centre's temperature to more like 20-25C, and you heat the water up by 10C (say) saving on gas or electricity bills since there is less of a temperature difference to get it up to the required temperature.

I eagerly await my Nobel Prize for Common Sense.

Re:Use that waste heat! (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255567)

Pipe the cold water (which is usually somewhere between 0 and 20 degrees C) through heat exchangers in the hot data centre before heating it up to working temperature with gas or electricity.

And once your cold water reaches the same temperature as the data center, what then? Most office buildings don't use a lot of hot water (it's mostly hand washing as you pointed out) and I'd be surprised if they go through enough to absorb the BTUs from a typical data center for any meaningful amount of time.

Re:Use that waste heat! (1)

wpiman (739077) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255635)

If we had hot water pipes on the street they could sell it back.

Can't a Sterling engine be used to turn the hot water into power to feed back to the data center?

Re:Use that waste heat! (1)

turgid (580780) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255643)

And once your cold water reaches the same temperature as the data center, what then?

You heat it up more to become hot water.

The water you want to be cold, you don't pipe through the data centre.

Water has a very high specific heat capacity [wikipedia.org] compared to air. You don't need a lot of it to absorb a lot of heat energy. That equates to a cooler data centre.

Re:Use that waste heat! (1)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255685)

Why, you convert the heat energy back into electricity, of course, and use it to power the servers!

Re:Use that waste heat! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27255967)

You could do so fairly easily, but it's unlikely to be worth the investment considering that the efficiency of heat transfer is quite low for (relatively) low temperature, uncirculated air. You could then add fans and fins, but then your costs go up again. It's a lot cheaper to just have a hot water heater and a vent.

Re:Use that waste heat! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27255627)

So if no one is washing their hands in the office, the water will not flow and the servers will overheat...

Re:Use that waste heat! (1)

alpayerturkmen (981639) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255737)

Well then just put a new hygiene rule. "Wash Doritos off your hand before touching those precious systems running transactions worth millions of dollars!". How about that?

Re:Use that waste heat! (1)

turgid (580780) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255757)

So if no one is washing their hands in the office, the water will not flow and the servers will overheat...

So you radiate it away.

Re:Use that waste heat! (1)

foldingstock (945985) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255665)

That would work great until the moisture buildup from the water kills all the electronic equipment in the room. ;)

Re:Use that waste heat! (2, Funny)

turgid (580780) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255703)

That would work great until the moisture buildup from the water kills all the electronic equipment in the room. ;)

Dad, is that you?

Blimey, people are so negative. Someone once said that if you have a good idea, don't worry about people trying to steal it: you'll have to ram it down their throats.

heat exchangers in the data centre (1)

wiredog (43288) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255707)

And since heat exchangers never leak, there's no problem putting them in the data center with all the electrical devices...

Re:heat exchangers in the data centre (1)

turgid (580780) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255813)

And since heat exchangers never leak, there's no problem putting them in the data center with all the electrical devices...

Apparently not. We've managed with air conditioners for 40+ years, with drip trays and drains. My old Nucular(TM) power station used to have them in the Temperature Monitoring Room to keep the PDP-11s cool.

Re:Use that waste heat! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27255815)

It's not worth the effort. Not only is there not much demand for hot water, you'd need a continuous flow of water to keep the data center's temperature down. It makes much more sense to install small water heaters near the point of use in most office buildings.

Re:Use that waste heat! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27256007)

IBM has a datacenter in Europe that heats a swimming pool. Google for specifics.

For extra money. (1)

Samschnooks (1415697) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255491)

Teach Bikram's Yoga in there! Extra cash and Yoga babes sweating!

you ask the wrong question (2, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255509)

The proper question is "Are our coworkers ready to deal with how we'll smell like after spending time in that server room?" It'll smell like a monkey house, but probably with less feces. Unless we're working with that superstar bastard programmer a few articles back who poo'd in the lobby.

Re:you ask the wrong question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27255583)

Sounds like you need Sure for Men(TM) [unilever.co.uk] .

Translation (-1, Redundant)

daem0n1x (748565) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255541)

"Are you ready for the 37-degree data center? Rackable Systems has introduced a new enclosure that it says can run high-density racks safely in environments as hot as 40 degrees C, offering customers the option of saving energy in their data center. Most data centers operate in a range between 20 and 23 degrees. Raising the thermostat can lower the power bill, allowing data centers to use less power for cooling. But higher temperatures can be less forgiving in the event of a cooling failure, and not likely to be welcomed by employees working in the data center."

Yeah, right (1)

MortenMW (968289) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255579)

I can't really imagine myself working in a 40C environment with bad air

Re:Yeah, right (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255743)

Many people used to work in factories in these conditions. It may not be pleasant but its doable.

I for one... (5, Funny)

JFlex (763276) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255585)

welcome our new sweaty sysadmins.

Relocation of cooling? (1)

KiwiCanuck (1075767) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255679)

Would the heat leach out the walls into cooler offices/spaces? If so, then you are basically forcing your neighbouring offices to cool your server room.

80 degrees (2, Interesting)

tthomas48 (180798) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255713)

We have an 80 degree data center. It's not particularly pleasant to be in (as you get buffeted by hotter winds coming off of power supplies), but we haven't seen any more failures than normal.

High temp failures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27255745)

The failure rate of electronics increases dramatically at higher temperatures. My recollection from my product qualification days is that a hard drive will fail at least 3x faster at 100F (40C) than at room temperature. This may be a bad idea and actually cost more money in the long term.

Re:High temp failures (2, Funny)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255805)

Data center is hot, racks are cool. Hot contents of racks make data center hot. Computer not like 100 degree heat, computer fail

Resistance (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255771)

Don't conductors generally get more resistive when they heat up?

Is there a cost to data centers when their computers' circuits become more resistive?

I wouldn't mind... (1)

EvilStein (414640) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255863)

But this would mean that we'd need a new law, banning any manager from trying to enforce any sort of dress code above and beyond "please wear clothing" for the IT department. If I'm going to be working in a warm data center, there's no way in hell that I'm dressing in 'business casual.' Management can kiss my ass. :)

A little warmer would be nice. (1)

olddotter (638430) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255865)

I wouldn't mind a DC between 75 and 80 degree F. I'm tired of shivering when I walk into the DC. Of course I'm not constantly racking larger servers. Those guys might like it sub 70.

Northern data centers (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255957)

I have never understood why data centers located in colder climates need cooling systems. Surely the only thing they need is access to as much outside temperature as possible and humidity filters? The other solution is to design data centers to use things like Windcatchers [wikipedia.org] to use natural physical processes.

Bad idea... (1)

sribe (304414) | more than 5 years ago | (#27255965)

...not likely to be welcomed by employees working in the data center.

Especially big fat sweaty BOFHs ;-)

Economics... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27255987)

We're setting up a small data center in the UK - our first room holds just 24 racks and we're going to trial heat management with outside air ventilation and evaporative cooling (that's swamp coolers to our American brethren). If we fill the whole floor with this we think we'll save about £450k a year in aircon costs. That's a lot of disks, even if taking the maximum temperature of exhaust air from a machine to around 32degC (based on an input temperature of 22degC) does shorten disk lifespan. (Seagate say 5degC to 60degC)

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