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Ga. Tech researchers addressing Moore's Law of data centers

By Alpha Doggs on Thu, 06/04/09 - 7:32pm.

Ga. Tech researchers Yogendra Joshi and Shawn Shields take exit air temperature measurements from behind a server cabinet (photo: by Gary Meek)Georgia Tech researchers are looking to cut by up to 15% the
amount of electricity needed to cool data centers that are becoming
increasingly jammed with servers and other network gear boasting more powerful
processors.

Georgia Institute of Technology researchers are using a
1,100 sq. ft. simulated data center to explore airflow patterns, make
temperature readings on systems and more. Fog generators, lasers and infrared
sensors are among the tools used to visualize the best setup.

According to the school, a large server cabinet produced 1
to 5 kilowatts of heat five years ago, but versions today would be closer to 28
kilowatts and new machines could generate twice that.

“Some people have called this the Moore’s Law of data
centers,” said Yogendra Joshi, a professor in Georgia Tech’s Woodruff School of
Mechanical Engineering, in a statement .  
“The growth of cooling requirements
parallels the growth of computing power, which doubles roughly ever 18 months.”

Advanced thinking from the researchers includes developing
algorithms to best match dynamically shifting computer loads to the coolest
machines available. Early adopters of virtualization technology have noted the
cooling challenges that go hand in hand with it.

The researchers are also looking at how to best use waste
heat removed from the data centers.