Dell Breathes Fresh Air Technology into "Chiller-less" Data Centers

Data centers have a tendency to get hot under the collar, and businesses spend big bucks keeping all that hardware running cool. They'll be happy to know that Dell's new integrated data center solution has not only been validated to operate within the highest current temperature and humidity guidelines issued by ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, in case you were curious), but it's warrantied as such, too.

According to Dell, servers, storage, and networking equipment of the Dell Dell Fresh Air cooling solution are capable of short-term, excursion-based operation in temperatures up to 113F (45C), which is the highest temperature warrantied in mainstream servers in the industry.

"New data center construction exemplified by companies such as Google, Facebook and Yahoo has demonstrated a shift toward fresh air-cooled data centers that do not rely on chiller technology," Dell explains. "However, the standard allowable temperature maximum of 95 F (35 C) for today’s IT equipment limits the locations where they can be used without having to have a backup chiller facility for high temperature excursions.

"To meet the needs of a broader range of companies interested in employing more efficient and economical facility designs, Dell has validated a portfolio of servers, storage, networking, and power infrastructure that deliver short-term, excursion-based operation with limited impact on performance across a larger environmental window. In line with the new, more stringent ASHRAE A3 and A4 classifications, Dell systems have been developed for sustained operation at temperature ranges from minus 23 F (5 C) to 113 F (45 C) and allowable humidity from 5 percent to 90 percent."

Using equipment with Fresh Air capability, Dell says customers in some climates can eliminate the capital cost required to build a chiller plant as part of the data center. Dell reckons companies can save more than $100,000 of operational savings per megawatt of IT, and eliminate capital expenditures of around $3 million per MW of IT. Cha-ching!