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Yahoo! coops demonstrate a creative approach to cooling

By Donna Donnowitz
March 6, 2015

The data center industry has already acknowledged that making data centers larger and packing more servers into them is not a sustainable solution for issues of scale. Efficient performance and airflow must also be taken into account when designing better buildings for data centers. Yahoo's Compute Coop, one of the most energy efficient data centers in the world, also features one of the industry's unusual designs. The expansion of Yahoo's farming-inspired facilities provides more insight into the world of out-of-the-box data center design.

Coop design offers cooling improvements
A recent feature from Datacenter Dynamic focused on the origins of Yahoo's Compute Coop and whether or not the design for the building was inspired by modern chicken coops. Brett Illers, a senior project manager at Yahoo, told the news source that the elevated floor and upward-drawn air features of a chicken coop did indeed inspire the company's first round of coop designs. Full roof cupolas are naturally suited for guiding warm air and moisture out of a building, leaving behind a cool and dry climate ideal for data centers.

The company's latest coop designs, however, are a little different. The new facilities use server fans to more effectively move air away from server racks and toward an intercooler located at the top of the data center. The latest Yahoo Compute Coops are capable of serving the needs of tens of thousands of pieces of data center hardware. Though the data center of the future may not resemble chicken coops forever, the success of heat control strategies employed in these facilities will certainly provide more hints to data center designers about the best ways to improve the efficiency of their facilities.

Optimization beats expansion for data centers
According to Data Center Knowledge, Yahoo's focus is on creating smaller, modular and highly optimized data centers that operate as controlled, contained environments. This task becomes more difficult as the square footage of the facility increases, so Yahoo opted instead to achieve the same capacity by breaking up the burden into multiple environments. This strategy may require businesses to invest more in technology that allows them to manage and monitor their data centers from distance, such as a remote console server.

Perle's wide range of 1 to 48 port Perle Console Servers provide data center managers and network administrators with secure remote management of any device with a serial console port. Plus, they are the only truly fault tolerant Console Servers on the market with the advanced security functionality needed to easily perform secure remote data center management and out-of-band management of IT assets from anywhere in the world.


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