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Ice Ice Baby (Word To Your Data Center Manager)

January 18, 2012
at 10:00 am PST

How many ice cubes does it take to cool a server?

This week’s Data Center Deconstructed Q&A item isn’t quite phrased that way, but if you consider the history of refrigeration that’s the riddle we’re pondering.  It’s a good one to figure out; Data Center designers and operators face the issue daily as part of their mission to create efficient server environments.

The capacity of Data Center chillers and air handlers is listed in tons.  As a unit of measure for refrigeration, it refers to the amount of energy that can be removed by a ton of ice (causing it to melt completely) within 24 hours.  So, that 30 ton air handler in your local Data Center provides the same effect as if 30 tons of ice were delivered there each day.   Every time someone powers on another server, they’re generating more heat and need the equivalent of more ice cubes.

Watch below to learn how Cisco balances hardware density to ice cubes – er, cooling -- in its Data Centers.

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