A Smaller, but Cooler

By David F. Carr  |  Posted 2007-08-10 Print this article Print

Cimarex Energy found a new, more efficient way to keep its I.T. hardware cool and running safely. Learn how the oil and gas exploration company dumped its old gargantuan climate-control unit.

and More Efficient Data Center">

New server racks with in-row cooling allowed Cimarex to pack more of its data-center equipment into a smaller space, with better management of excess heat and reduced energy consumption.

The reduction in the energy required for the new setup is reflected in the meter readings below, which measure chilled-water consumption for the two computer rooms. The old 400-square-foot server room was overcrowded and overheating before Cimarex expanded into a second, 235-square-foot server room. Yet the new room now houses most of the data center's equipment (about 85 servers) without suffering the same overheating problems. Even with just three Network Appliance storage servers remaining in the old server room, the whole-room air conditioning unit installed there continues to consume about three times the energy (as measured by meter readings for the chilled water supplied to the air conditioning equipment). The difference is that the whole-room unit consumes chilled water at essentially a constant rate, while the in-row chilling system uses it only as necessary and delivers it more efficiently to where it is needed.

Usage, in Ton-Hours
2007 Old Server Room: Traditional Cooling New Server Room: In-Row Cooling Change
January 45,639 14,561 -68.1%
February 86,154 29,483 -65.8%
March 51,763 17,425 -66.3%
April 64,080 21,295 -66.8%
May 86,523 19,189 -77.8%
June 92,691 36,497 -60.6%

David F. Carr David F. Carr is the Technology Editor for Baseline Magazine, a Ziff Davis publication focused on information technology and its management, with an emphasis on measurable, bottom-line results. He wrote two of Baseline's cover stories focused on the role of technology in disaster recovery, one focused on the response to the tsunami in Indonesia and another on the City of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.David has been the author or co-author of many Baseline Case Dissections on corporate technology successes and failures (such as the role of Kmart's inept supply chain implementation in its decline versus Wal-Mart or the successful use of technology to create new market opportunities for office furniture maker Herman Miller). He has also written about the FAA's halting attempts to modernize air traffic control, and in 2003 he traveled to Sierra Leone and Liberia to report on the role of technology in United Nations peacekeeping.David joined Baseline prior to the launch of the magazine in 2001 and helped define popular elements of the magazine such as Gotcha!, which offers cautionary tales about technology pitfalls and how to avoid them.

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