Standard data centers operate at around 20ºC to 22ºC to optimize performance. When running a data center in a tropical climate, up to 33% of the energy consumed is dedicated just to operating the cooling systems and infrastructure, electricity costs may contribute more than 50% of the operating expensesº.
º I3 Solutions Group, Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA). 2014. Green Data Centre Technology Roadmap. National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS)
Enterprises like Intel, Microsoft and Oracle have explored various ways to reduce energy consumption and costs. One solution is to raise the overall temperature of data centers by hardening the IT equipment and reducing the need for cooling.
Studies show that a 1ºC increase in temperature can reduce 2 to 5% of the energy cost^, which translates into significant operational cost savings. Some companies have explored removing air-conditioning altogether, running on fresh air further reduces the energy cost.
^ Nosayba El-Sayed, Ioan Stefanovici, George Amvrosiadis, Andy A. Hwang, Biana Schroder. 2012. Temperature Management in Data Centers: Why Some (Might) Like It Hot. Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto
There is an estimated* 96% reduction in cooling costs in a tropical data center at 30ºC as compared to a typical cooled data center at 21ºC.
* Estimate rounded to closest whole number, calculations based on 29ºC outdoor temperature and 6.3kW server load.
How HarshPro Servers reduce your Total Cost of Ownership over time
A closer look at the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) between a typical cooled data enter running Xeon E servers versus a tropical data center utilising HarshPro Servers at warmer temperatures
- Xeon® E 2278G Processor
- 32Gb Memory
- 1Tb Storage
- 5-year Lifespan
- Duty Cycle 80%
Typical Data Center: Air-conditioned at 21ºC
- Xeon® D 1539 Processor
- 32Gb Memory
- 1Tb Storage
- 10-year Lifespan
- Duty Cycle 100%
Tropical Data Center: Fresh-air cooled at 29ºC
The costs of building and operating a data center typically fall into two categories:
Capital Expenditure (CapEx) includes the initial purchase of servers and other equipment needed to set up the data center including but not limited to chillers, UPS, generators, and power distribution
Operating Expenditure (OpEx) covers the day-to-day costs of running and maintaining the data center
Fresh-air cooled tropical data centers are able to save on CapEx, as chillers and other cooling equipment are no longer needed to cool the data centers and IT equipment below ambient temperatures.
Fresh-air cooling operators can expect a 45% decrease in total electrical costs and a dramatic 96% reduction in cooling costs. With HarshPro servers in tropical data centers, savings begin around the third year, or earlier where electrical costs are high.
Savings from the HarshPro server accelerate in the 10-year comparison due to the Xeon D processor, which offers a 10-year lifespan at 100% usage.
In contrast, the Xeon E processor used in the cooled server has a 5-year lifespan and an 80% duty cycle. For long term deployments, Xeon E based servers will require replacement, ultimately increasing the total cost of ownership by up to 60%.
TCO comparison is estimated for 1 rack x 21 servers at US cents 14.47 per kwH for electrical cost
In addition to lower total cost of operations, tropical data centers have the potential to unlock new value streams for business. For example, leveraging the ability to operate in elevated temperatures and the reduced need for cooling infrastructure, enables real estate owners to monetize unused or underutilized real estate through the creation of modular/containerized edge tropical data centers at those assets
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