Brocade chooses in-row cooling for massive new data center

Thought it might interest you to read about the design choices that one of better-known forces in data center networking, Brocade, is making as far as its new data center in San Jose, Calif.For one thing, it has opted for in-row cooling technology, developed by Custom Mechanical Systems, along with water-side economizer technology to help minimize fan usage.

Thought it might interest you to read about the design choices that one of better-known forces in data center networking, Brocade, is making as far as its new data center in San Jose, Calif.

For one thing, it has opted for in-row cooling technology, developed by Custom Mechanical Systems, along with water-side economizer technology to help minimize fan usage. The design was created in conjunction with contractor Critchfield Mechanical, and it is being pitched as one of the biggest data centers in the world to use in-row cooling technology.

Dan Hyman, cofounder and principal for Custom Mechanical, says that the in-row cooling technology used in the new Brocade data center draws only 25 percent of the energy required by other design. One big difference lies in the efficiency design of the fans, as well as the variable speed of the fans, he says.

Another factor was the water-side economizer, which provides for cooling about 1,000 hours a year without the mechanical systems, according to Jennifer Fraser, project manager for Critchfield.

The 5,000-square-foot facility, which combines three previous data centers, takes up about 30 percent less space in terms of the physical footprint. It will use about a half-megawatt of power at "full buildout." The overall power consumption was reduced by 37 percent. The project managers estimate that the power usage effectiveness for the mechanical system is less than 1.3, compared with a traditional measure of 1.5

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