Access Michigan LLC Blog

Future Proofing Colo Design

What are the Design Parameters for the CoLo Centers of the Future

If you thought CoLo design was done and dusted, think again. There are innovations that could change the way we build and run facilities, right down to the racks where the IT lives.

It seemed a little like surgery. First the tubes carrying the cooling fluid were sealed with surgical clamps, then the board was disconnected from the pipes and removed. Then a hard drive was replaced with an SSD.

Already this design is being superseded by another one, which uses bayonet joints, so the board can be unplugged without the need to clamp the tubes.

Less radical liquid cooling systems are available, including heat exchangers in the cabinet doors, which can be effective at levels where air cooling would still be a viable option.

OVH (a French cloud computing company) combines this with its circulation system. The direct liquid cooling removes 70 percent of the heat from its IT equipment, but the other 30 percent still has to go somewhere – and is removed by rear-door heat exchangers. This is a closed loop system, with the heat rejected externally.

Liquid cooling isn’t necessary for a system designed to be installed in a shell. It’s now quite common to see data centers where a contained row has been constructed on its own, on a cement floor, connected to a conventional cooling system. Mainstream vendors such as Vertiv offer modular builds that can be placed on cement floors, while others offer their own take.

The approach here is to build an air cooling system alongside the rack, so a large volume of air can be drawn in and circulated.

Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. The design of hardware is changing just as fast as ever, and those building colocation data centers need to keep track of developments.

Download this Vertiv sponsored supplement to help your colo design for the future by keeping one step ahead of developments

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