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Data Centers Undergoing Chilly Phenomenon with Rising Numbers of Cold Spots
When it comes to keeping a data center properly powered and operating, temperature means everything. Traditionally, hot spots have been a challenge for administrators, occurring when intake temperatures rise above recommended levels. But now that data centers are kept continuously cool, a new issue has arisen.
According to IBM (News - Alert), a cold spot occurs when temperature data falls below the configured cold threshold for a device. And cold spots have become a growing phenomenon as data center operators focus on keeping temperatures cool to avoid overheating.
A Data Center Knowledge article shows that cold spots have in fact become even more common in data centers than hot spots, with an average of 7 percent of cabinets containing hot spots and an average of 35 percent of cabinets with cold spots. Those cold spots represent inefficiencies in the overall operating standards of data centers, but also open up opportunities for improved capacity and operation of cooling units.
IBM offers its Maximo Asset Management for Energy Optimization solution to detect hot and cold spots. It does this by interpolating temperature values within zones that have defined hot and cold threshold values. These threshold values trigger hot and cold spots on a map, and cold spots show up when temperature values within the zone of an asset are below the assigned cold threshold value for that asset.Ultimately, data center operators need to figure out their site’s Cooling Capacity Factor to reveal the utilization of cooling capacity. Once this is determined, there are four factors that must be considered to optimize data center airflow. These include the configurations for raised floor, rack and rackspace, situation of rows and overall room temperatures. Once these factors are assessed, a plan may be put in place to gain the best energy and cost efficiencies while avoiding hot and cold spots.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey
Data Center Power Resources
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