Is Hot IT a False Economy? An Analysis of Server and Data Center Energy Efficiency as Temperatures Rise

Journal article


Kenny, R., Clement, S, Rteil, N, Burdett, K and Wynne, A (2023). Is Hot IT a False Economy? An Analysis of Server and Data Center Energy Efficiency as Temperatures Rise. IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Computing. https://doi.org/10.1109/TSUSC.2023.3336801
AuthorsKenny, R., Clement, S, Rteil, N, Burdett, K and Wynne, A
Abstract

As demand for digital services grows, there is need to improve efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of data centers. The largest energy consumer in any data center is the IT, followed by the systems dedicated to cooling. Aiming to improve efficiency, and driven by metrics like PUE, there is a trend towards running data centers hotter to reduce the cooling energy. There is little research investigating the effect this will have on the IT beyond failure rates. To ensure overall efficiency is improving, we must view the data center as a system of systems, taking a holistic view rather than focusing on individual sub-systems. In this paper we use industry standard benchmarks and a wind-tunnel to profile typical enterprise IT. We analyze the effect of environmental conditions on IT efficiency, showing minor increases in temperature or pressure impact the efficiency of servers. Using an idealized, simulated data center case study we show that the interaction between cooling systems, server behaviour and local climate are non-trivial and increasing temperatures has potential to worsen efficiency.

Keywordsdata centers, energy efficiency, sustainable computing, server benchmarking, power consumption, inlet temperature, ASHRAE climate zones, data center cooling, environmental impact
Year2023
JournalIEEE Transactions on Sustainable Computing
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
ISSN2377-3782
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1109/TSUSC.2023.3336801
Publication dates
Print27 Nov 2023
Publication process dates
Accepted21 Apr 2023
Deposited28 Nov 2023
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Open
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IEEE_TranSuSComputing_ HotIT_accepted (1).pdf
License: CC BY 4.0
File access level: Open

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