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NUS Data Centre breaks new ground in data centre cooling

Zafar Anjum | Dec. 3, 2013
NUS Computer Centre successfully reduces energy used to cool servers at its data centre by four times and maintains the ambient temperature at 25 degrees Celsius with a new hybrid cooling design

The National University of Singapore (NUS) Computer Centre has announced a significant energy reduction in cooling for its data centre.

In an official statement, the Computer Centre officials said that this reduction was achieved with the implementation of a new hybrid cooling design.

The reduction achieved in the amount of energy used to cool each server is by four times compared to a regular data centre that relies on a traditional room cooling solution, according to an official statement by the Computer Centre.

The 10,000-square-feet facility, which houses 1,035 servers, is also NUS Computer Centre's first data centre to deploy low, medium and high density zones in the same IT environment. The data centre, the first hybrid facility of this scale in Singapore's educational sector, uses a modular rack containment system that is designed to contain clusters of medium and high-density equipment and eliminate the mixing of hot and cold air streams to ensure that cooling is kept constant and achieves a high level of energy efficiency.

"As one of the world's leading universities, it is imperative for NUS to provide a conducive environment for the delivery of high quality education and world-class research," said Tommy Hor, Senior Director, NUS Computer Centre. "As we leverage on information technology and Internet more intensively for education, research and services, the deployment of medium and high density servers ensures that our data centre can meet the growing demand for a wider spectrum of online services, richer online content and faster computing power."

The cooling solution not only prevents downtime due to the creation of hot spots in these zones, it also improves energy efficiency and reduces the University's carbon footprint, said a spokesperson for NUS Computer Centre's data centre.

In the new system, cooling is targeted at the heat source so that less energy is needed for heat removal, resulting in a 30% increase in efficiency over traditional cooling architectures. By keeping cooling targeted and close to the heat sources, NUS Computer Centre avoids lowering the temperature of the entire IT environment unnecessarily. This allows the data centre to maintain its ambient temperature at 25 degrees Celsius and effectively reduce energy consumption.

"We are confident that the data centre, with its virtualisation technology and smaller energy footprints for servers and storage, is able to adequately support the University's growing IT demands over the next few years without incurring extraneous energy expenditure and compromising availability of IT services," said Hor.


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