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Energy Guru

IBM cooling expert Roger Schmidt says the positioning of machines


When it comes to making data centers more energy-efficient, IBMer Roger Schmidt knows there are no easy answers. However, he’ll also point out customers can achieve meaningful energy savings by taking some simple steps.

Schmidt, an internationally recognized expert in the field of electronic cooling and the holder of more than 100 patents/patents pending in the area of electronic cooling and energy-saving solutions for data centers, meets with customers worldwide. If he’s entering a data center that’s at least 10 years old, he’ll look first at the placement of the machines.

“A lot of clients don’t alternate the equipment in cold aisle/hot aisle,” Schmidt says. “That sounds like a simple arrangement, but a fair number of data centers still aren’t organized that way. That’s wasteful in energy and it can be hurtful to the IT equipment.”

What Schmidt means by hot aisle/cold aisle is this: A data center has multiple rows of IT equipment. These machines should be positioned around cooled air emanating through vents in the raised floor. That way, all machines face these “cold” aisles—and each other—with the cooling on the fronts of the boxes. “In other words, I can walk down the cold aisle, look right, look left and see the fronts of the machines,” Schmidt says. “I can walk down the hot aisle, look right and left, and see the backs of the machines blowing their hot exhaust air.”

Neil Tardy is a contributing writer to IBM Systems Magazine. Neil can be reached at ntardy@msptechmedia.com.


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Energy Guru

IBM cooling expert Roger Schmidt says the positioning of machines

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