Datacenters are known for a lot of things. Their immense size, ultra-complex configurations, noise and sometimes, how futuristic some of them are. Noise is one of the biggest factors that tops most lists, however, and that noise is caused primarily by one thing: cooling. Even on our desktops and notebooks, efficient cooling is important. Some enthusiasts spend upwards of $100 or more simply to keep their processor running at modest temperatures. Now, imagine needing to cool thousands or even tens of thousands of processors crammed together in tight spaces. You not only need efficient coolers then, but large, high-RPM fans. That equates to incredible noise and a high energy bill.
It's for those reasons that many companies have begun setting up datacenters in Ireland, Dublin to be exact. Google is the latest, and the reasons for it are obvious. At the forefront, Ireland has a super-low corporate tax rate of 12.5%, but improving on the entire package is something the government can't control: the weather. Ireland's lack of extremes in the weather and typically cool air may not be ideal for some of the locals, but it's perfect for a company like Google which needs all the free cooling help it can get.
Google's Global Data Centre Operations Officer Dan Costello has said, "It's not quite as simple as just opening the windows, but it's pretty close." Google no doubt has an infrastructure within itself designed around bringing in the cool air and routing it properly, but overall, the cost savings are more than worth it. This implementation, along with others around the world, has helped Google bring its energy overhead down to a mere 12%. When we're talking about datacenters, that sort of efficiency is of unparalleled importance, not only for cost-savings, but for helping a company be as "green" as possible.