Patrick Thibodeau at Computerworld is amongst those reporting David Filas’ experiment to demonstrate the resilience of data center equipment. Data center managers go to great lengths to control temperature, humidity, and other conditions inside their data centers, often devoting a significant proportion of their operational costs to keeping air conditioning blasting out cold air. There are plenty of recent cases in which data center designers have turned the heat up a bit (without significant detrimental effects) or used ambient cooling by piping in air from outside. But Filas has gone further, running his experimental kit in a shed and exposing it to dramatic variations in temperature and humidity. The equipment kept running. The industry is already challenging long-held assumptions around power usage, but Filas’ work perhaps suggests that there is still further to go.
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