The history of the modernization of one data center: almost half the reduction in PUE and other advantages of modern solutions

    Many organizations are faced with the fact that outdated data centers are difficult to control, and the energy consumption of inefficient systems is becoming too expensive. In this post, we will talk about a project at the National University of Taiwan, where the modernization of data center engineering systems made it possible to achieve both energy saving and improving the reliability of the infrastructure as a whole. Details - under the cut.

    Like many universities around the world, the Taiwanese NUU has gradually been expanding its server infrastructure and in the recent past has “run up” to the limits of available electric power, as well as faced with the problem of high electricity costs. It turned out that the organization spends from 20 to 30% of its electricity in its data center, which seriously undermined the financial capabilities of the university.

    This situation became a prerequisite for the analysis of the data center, which immediately revealed a number of problems:

    Firstly, a structured cable network was not so structured. The lack of clear and reliable connections often caused interruptions in the provision of services to end users.

    Secondly, a significant part of the electricity consumption was by no means in IT equipment. The PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) parameter, which is defined as the ratio of total energy consumption to the actual consumption of IT systems, was almost 3! Data center reputation was saved only by one hundredth - the actual PUE was determined at 2.99. This means that for every useful kilowatt * hour there was another 2 kWh of energy spent on cooling, ventilation and lost in electrical networks, transformers and UPSs.

    Equipment upgrade

    To help NUU tidy up its data center and reduce PUE, we proposed a six-step strategy:

    • Redistribution of server loads over the existing room.
    • Streamlining cable management to improve reliability and reduce air obstruction.
    • The use of special racks with perforated walls for the organization of "hot" and "cold" corridors.
    • Use of RowCool in-line air conditioners that provide more optimal air movement.
    • Installation of highly efficient power distribution cabinets capable of minimizing losses and balancing the load.
    • As well as the use of modular UPS with a high level of efficiency up to 96% and low losses.

    As you can see in the diagram, NUU managed to place all the equipment in such a way as not only to organize “hot” and “cold” corridors, but even to allocate additional space for placing loads in the future.

    In order not to interfere with the movement of air, not to create additional heating in the server room and not to occupy a place that can be used to efficiently place servers, the UPSs reserved according to the 1 + 1 scheme were moved to a separate room.

    This is what cable infrastructure at NUU now looks like. Thanks to the arrangement of cables in the racks, as well as additional trays for mounting the SCS, it was possible to guarantee a reliable (and sometimes even backup) connection of the servers.

    PUE 1.6 and Delta Solutions

    After all the upgrades, the PUE level decreased from 2.99 to 1.6, so that engineering equipment began to consume not 200% of the energy from IT systems, but only 60%. This approach allowed the university to save almost $ 135,000 US dollars per year, as well as provide a reserve of power for installing at least the same amount of equipment for the future. That is, now the data center can be doubled without supplying additional power!

    Such results were achieved through the use of the following Delta Electronics solutions:

    • Delta PDC power distribution cabinets allow you to distribute the load between the racks, switch it to different phases (in the case of a three-phase power supply) and help administrators monitor changes in energy profiles of different components.
    • Modulon DPH series UPSs exhibit 96% efficiency at half load and reduce power conversion loss. At the same time, the capacity of the modules can be increased by adding additional batteries to extend the battery life of critical infrastructure elements.
    • Special racks Delta do not interfere with the movement of air, as 70% of their surface is perforation, and the cables are laid in channels and do not interfere with circulation.
    • High-capacity Delta RowCool in-line air conditioners direct cold air directly to equipment. Installed in two in each row and connected to a central control system, they provide the necessary cooling precisely at peak load times or on hot days.
    • Delta InfraSuite's DCIM-class software helped the customer analyze energy and heat profiles to maximize the efficiency of cooling and ventilation systems. By the way, the system continues to work in real time and allows you to correct the imbalance.
    • A closed hot corridor and a controlled ventilation system prevent hot air from getting back into the server room. All the heat removed effectively leaves the street.

    Improving energy efficiency and other benefits

    In addition to improving the energy efficiency of the data center as a whole, NUU was able to control the stability of energy supply, track deviations in the operation of equipment, and also perform temperature monitoring of the data center in real time.

    A good result of reducing PUE was achieved at NUU through the use of a comprehensive solution. If you have experience in improving PUE through a partial upgrade, we would appreciate it if you share it in the comments.

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    What is the PUE in your data center?

    • 42.8% Under 1.5 3
    • 14.2% From 1.5 to 2 1
    • 14.2% 2 to 2.5 1
    • 14.2% Over 2.5 1
    • 14.2% Over 2.5 1

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