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Yahoo Tackles Fan Energy for more Efficient Data Centers

Scott Noteboom, Yahoo’s director of global data center operations, said the company is targeting fan energy as its next step to improve the efficiency of its data centers, reports Data Center Knowledge.

Noteboom made the announcement at the AFCOM Data Center World Fall 2010 conference in Las Vegas, where he discussed the evolution of Yahoo’s data center designs and series of improvements to each new facility, according to the article.

Yahoo’s latest data center, which was opened in September, uses a radical new design to reduce energy costs by 40 percent.

The company’s next step is developing custom racks and server trays, which will help reduce the amount of energy used by server-level fans, according to Noteboom. These fans turn on when temperature rises in the rack.

While raising the temperature in the data center can save money on power costs, studies have shown if the thermostat is too high, you can lose that energy savings through fan activity, reports Data Center Knowledge.

Noteboom said in the article that Yahoo currently operates its data centers with a target server intake temperature of 75 degrees F and when the temperature rises to 78 or 80 degrees, fan activity increases.

Yahoo is looking to gain more granular control over the server fans, which means its “looking at taking control of the form factor, the tray or blade,” Noteboom said.

This translates into a design change. Noteboom said the company is working with vendors to design sleeker server trays and racks that move fans to the back of the rack or cabinet to improve airflow.

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One thought on “Yahoo Tackles Fan Energy for more Efficient Data Centers

  1. There are now systems available that completely remove the fans from the server, rack, etc. and cool the IT hardware with less total energy required than the server fans would normally consume. Basically enabling cooling that is freer than free.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5-_AvmWoA4

    One can find completed server/cooling systems using similar ultra-high efficiency technology from Liebert in their XD line.

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