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April 26, 2017

The big data centre rip off: Majority of cooling equipment not effective

Survey shows that UK data centres are spending significantly towards cooling equipment that show no benefits.

By Hannah Williams

On average, UK data centres providers (66%) are spending money on cooling equipment that shows no evidence of providing any cooling benefits.

A survey conducted by EkkoSense, who say they specialise in thermal risk, found that the current average data centre cooling utilisation level is stagnant at just 34%.

The research was based on 128 UK data centre halls and more than 16,500 racks.

James Kirkwood, HOD, EkkoSense said: “The fact that thermal issues still account for almost a third of unplanned data centre outages would suggest that the 35 percent of energy consumption that operators are currently spending on cooling simply isn’t doing the job it needs to.”

cooling racksThe team agrees that while UK data centre operators are continuously investing significantly in expensive cooling equipment, they are not doing enough to reduce the risk to the business that unplanned outages bring.

EkkoSense suggests that the main cause of poor thermal compliance across UK data centres is not actually related to a lack of cooling capacity, but instead due to the continued poor management of airflow and failure to actively monitor and report rack temperatures.

Read more: Emerson Network Power launches new rack cooling system

Kirkwood said: “With our survey also revealing that less than 5% of UK data centre M&E teams currently actively monitor and report temperature on an individual rack-by-rack basis, and even fewer conduct any formal cooling resilience tests- it’s clear that organisations have a long way to go if they’re to successfully achieve their thermal compliance goals.”

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In line with this, EkkoSense offers its Data Centre Optimisation (DCOP) service, which they say can enable organisations to address these issues whilst achieving 100 percent thermal compliance.

According to the company this delivers improvements in overall energy performance for data centres, along with a decrease in budget as the need to purchase any additional cooling equipment is removed.

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