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Equinix to raise the temperature and run things hotter in its data centres

By Ken Wong - on 7 Dec 2022, 10:15am

Equinix to raise the temperature and run things hotter in its data centres

Equipment deployed at an Equinix International Business Exchange (IBX) data centre. Image source: Equinix.

Equinix has announced its intention to “Adjust the Thermostat” and reduce its overall power use by increasing operating temperature ranges within its data centres. It’s long been understood that running IT equipment within data centres, including routers, servers and storage arrays, creates high levels of heat that require data centres to be fitted with robust cooling systems like extractor fans and powerful air-conditioning units, to remove that heat.

With this move, Equinix expects to operate its facilities closer to 27°C bringing its operating limits across its global data centre portfolio in line with the globally accepted boundaries of the A1A standards from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

When combined with existing Equinix initiatives such as optimising the use of outside air temperatures to cool its data centres, this new initiative will contribute to the overall sustainability of its data centres through efficiency improvements measured through Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE).

PUE represents the total amount of power being used by a data centre divided by the power used to run the IT equipment within the data centre. The best PUE ratio is 1.0. A PUE of 1.0 indicates a perfectly efficient data centre in which 100% of the facility's power is delivered to IT equipment.

Rob Brothers, Program Vice President, Datacenter Services, IDC. said:

Most data centres operate within restrictive temperature and humidity bands, resulting in environments that are unnecessarily cooler than required. Equinix will work with enterprises to change the way we think about operating temperatures within data centre environments and how the industry can ensure optimal service levels for mission-critical digital infrastructure while improving data centre efficiencies.

Starting immediately, Equinix will begin to define a multi-year global roadmap for thermal operations within its data centres aimed at achieving significantly more efficient cooling and decreased carbon impacts.

For comparison, Google runs their data centres at the same 27°C and cools them using outside air and building custom servers.

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