How Colocation Providers Can Free up 30% More IT Capacity While Saving on Opex

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If you’re a colocation provider and could find a way to get 30% more IT capacity out of your existing data center power infrastructure while reducing operating costs by 60%, I’m certain you’d be more than a little interested. If so, just read on.

These are not pie in the sky figures. They’re actual results customers are getting by employing second-generation air economizer cooling technology.

air economizer

We’ve known for years that economizers can reduce cooling costs; they’ve been doing a great job at that since we delivered our first-generation products in 2010. But technology changes quite a bit in 7 years so it should be no surprise that today’s versions are considerably more efficient.

This was the topic of a presentation I made at a recent event, which we recorded so you can view it here. The gist is that our new Ecoflair air economizers have some features that enable them to be employed virtually anywhere in the world; you’re no longer constrained to using economizers only in moderate climates, and can get far more hours of use through the course of the year.

I go into the details in the presentation, but it has to do with using evaporative assist, or wet-mode cooling, which involves spraying a fine mist of water over a heat exchanger as air is passed through it, cooling the air down before it enters the data center. We’ve got customers deploying the technology literally from Seattle to Singapore, and it’s proving to be far more efficient than previous generations of air economizers.

What that means in practice is you’re using far less power to operate your data center cooling system. So, with no changes to your data center power infrastructure, suddenly you’ve got more power to dedicate to other things; for colocation providers, that would naturally be revenue-generating IT equipment.

Consider a data center with 3000 amps of power available. In a typical data center that uses a chilled water economizer cooling system, you can deliver about 1.3MW of that power to the IT space. When using the more efficient Ecoflair, that same 3000 amps delivers 1.7MW to the data center – a 30% increase. That gives you far more available compute capacity to sell to your customers.

But the story gets even better when you consider ongoing operational costs. For a 1200kW data center in Columbus, Ohio, your annual operational costs to run a first-generation economizer cooling system would be about $147,000 for a water-based model and $136,000 for refrigerant-based model. But Ecoflair comes in at about $53,000, about a 60% savings.

Again, I go through all the details in the video, and you can also find detailed analysis in our free white paper no. 215, “Choosing Between Direct and Indirect Air Economization for Data Centers.”  I encourage you to take a hard look at both, because I’m confident you’ll find you’ll not only be able to deliver more IT services from your existing data centers, but save on operating costs at the same time.

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