I know this isn’t a datacenter blog, but those of you with big iron have big datacenters, so I hope the rash of datacenter posts is at least somewhat interesting to you.
Anyway, Mark Fontecchio has an interesting article at SearchDataCenter this week, running through a case study for Lab 7D, a 7,000 square foot raised floor datacenter that Cisco uses for testing and QA.
But like many data centers, it also runs out of power. According to Chris Noland, who oversees the facility, the lab was the No. 2 consumer of electricity on the San Jose campus, generating $150,000 a month in power costs, or $1.8 million a year.
Once they figured out how much all those electrons were costing, they started trying to save money. They shut off redundant power supplies and saved about 10%, but that wasn’t enough
Cisco’s data center was already set up in a hot-aisle/cold-aisle configuration, complete with perforated tiles in the cold aisle and, in Cisco’s case, ceiling vents in the hot aisle. Looking to improve on this setup, Noland then talked to Pacific Gas & Electric, the main utility company in San Jose, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory about cold-aisle containment.
Before heading off into the deep end on containment, though, Lab 7D brought in a team to do CFD simulations to fully understand what was going on. The verdict: containment wouldn’t work for them, and would in fact make things worse.
Interesting case study on how the conventional wisdom isn’t always right for every situation.