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Simulator pilots data center energy use control

Posted: 28 Oct 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:data center? energy efficiency? simulation technology?

Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd and Fujitsu Laboratories of Europe Ltd have claimed a world's first with a simulation technology that improves data canter energy efficiency. According to them, it can instantly test for changes in power consumption throughout a data center when operating status of servers or air-conditioning equipment is changed.

Data centers are increasingly used to support business continuity during natural disasters and as a way for companies to save energy. However, making improvements to the power efficiency of data centers is a big issue. Reducing electricity consumption at data centers requires an integrated approach that takes into account ICT hardware, air conditioning and other equipment. In a data center with an ever-changing operational profile, it is difficult to predict how changes to the operating status of ICT hardware and air conditioning equipment will impact the data center's overall power consumption.

The newly developed technology can determine thermal flows inside a building at calculation speeds more than 1,000 times faster than was previously possible, Fujitsu stated. It also completely models the ICT hardware, air conditioning and other equipment of a running data center. This, in turn, enables accurate calculations of a data center's power consumption. The technology will make it possible to test the effectiveness of energy-saving measures prior to execution in a running data center. This has the potential to significantly cut overall power consumption.

This technology enables accurate simulation of the effects that power-saving measures will have on a data center as a wholesomething that has been difficult to verify using actual operating data centers. For example, this makes it possible to test a number of strategies, such as concentrating processing loads on servers in a fixed area when demand is low, while at the same time cutting off power to other servers and reducing air conditioner output. By implementing the most efficient measures, significant improvements in data center power efficiency can be expected.

The new technology factors in climate conditions (temperature and humidity) at a data center's site and examine the cooling methods most suited to the location. In colder climates, it may be effective to use a method that draws outside air directly into the building. As long as the temperature and humidity stay within a range that ensures reliable server operations, cooling with outside air uses less power than air conditioning.

In addition, recent power shortages in Japan have forced data centers to deal with emergency energy-conservation requirements. This technology also enables a variety of measures to be tested on short notice.

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