Representatives from Intel, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Liebert Precision Cooling, and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab conducted the study, along with a recent Liebert survey of members of the Data Center Users Group (DCUG), that showed that 100% of respondents was cooling data centers significantly below ASHRAE's recommended 80.6 F.
Last year, ASHRAE raised its 2004 high-end recommendation for inflow temperature from 77 F to 80.6 F. Of the 98 respondents to the DCUG survey, however, none had a computer-room air handling inflow temperature higher than 74 F, and the majority chilled their air to 70 F or below.
Chilling the air, of course, requires a significant power outlay, but getting the servers to communicate their cooling needs to computer-room air conditioning (CRAC) units is difficult because the equipment works on different protocols. Additionally, CRAC-unit vendors aren't motivated to step up and say that overly cool data centers are wasting power and money, since they profit from selling more powerful cooling systems.
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