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Scottrade Turns Down A/C at Data Center

thermostat.jpgSt. Louis-based Scottrade, looking to reduce power consumption, hired engineering firm Glumac to improve energy use at it data center, CIO reports.

Using a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model of the center, Glumac first identified a “thermocline,” or plane of warmer air in the upper half of the data center space, where much of Scottrade’s equipment was located.

To keep that area cool, Scottrade was running its air conditioning system too high and overcooling the room, Glumac found. By fixing the airflow problems and adjusting the hot zones, Scottrade could safely turn up the thermostat in the computer room.

The new data center was using energy-efficient PowerEdge U and 2U server models from Dell. They draw less energy due to low-voltage processors, variable-speed fans, and high-efficiency power supplies. And, in addition to keeping boxes cooler, the servers run better at higher operating temperatures than the previous generation of equipment.

So, the move to a hotter data center did not reduce performance or affect the longevity of equipment, said Scottrade. Rather, the recommendations improved equipment reliability and cut power consumption by 8 percent.

Scottrade has plans to implement similar tactics in its new backup data center in Scottsdale, AZ.

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