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A More Granular Approach To DC Cooling

May 28, 2009 - 1 Comment

One of the goals of Data Center 3.0 is to shift the approach for building data center infrastructure and deploy it in a more targeted and granular fashion to make sure budget spend is used more efficiently. One of the more interesting places to do this is with regards to data center cooling. Taking a more granular approach can certainly help you eke more life out of your data center if you find yourself in a situation where it seems you are running out of cooling capacity. In this podcast, Doug Alger discusses some of the things Cisco IT is doing and considering to map cooling strategies to our different tiers of service. Something else we along these lines is customer who provision cooling based on equipment power consumption indicated by the max rating “on the plate.” This often leads to significantly over-provisioned cooling and sets up a cascade of other problems: 1) wasted budget, 2) perception that the DC is closer to cooling capacity than it actually is, and 3) because the cooling unit are over-provisioned and not running at the designed load, their cooling efficiency suffers. To help customers plan more effectively, we have a couple of free tools on (registration, however, is required) that help you understand actual power consumption.The Data Center Assurance Program (DCAP) Best Practices Tool gives you the tested power draw of the best practices designs discussed in the tool and the design guides. Below is an excerpt:imageTo get more detail on your specific configs, you can use the Cisco Power Calculator to plug in your specific configuration and get more detailed info (below is a section of the full report).imageIn both these cases, the typical power draw is significantly less than the “plate rating” indicated by the installed power supplies. As a reminder, while cooling strategies can be designed around these typical usage numbers, electrical service still needs to be provisioned based on the plate rating.

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  1. Great post Omar and good points made.In addition to the power calc you show above you can also see the Cisco Product Efficiency Calculator to calculate the cost of cooling for Cisco products and/or networks.Find it under the Planning"" section of the Efficiency Assurance Program at"