Lady Backup likes it hot and sunny. But what’s great for the human spirit isn’t so great for data centers.
I hadn’t really thought very much about this until a story I read recently in The Wall Street Journal about a trend of companies building data centers in cold climates to offset costs of cooling data centers. Google, for example, is using an old paper mill in Hamina, Finland for a new data center – it cost about €200 million to retrofit the mill as a data center. The average yearly temperature is 2 degrees Celsius (definitely not a climate for Lady Backup!) in Finland so it makes it attractive for a data center site. The other part of the attraction of this facility is the use of a seawater cooling system.
The data explosion – driven by commercial and consumer usage – is driving the need to rethink cooling of data centers. It’s logical to locate data centers in places where nature can help contribute to the cooling process. Google, for example, consumed 2.26 terawatt hours last year, which is more than the electricity consumed by 200,000 American homes, according to the Wall Street Journal. By locating a data center in Finland, Google is looking to lower its electricity consumption to keep its new data center cool.
There are two questions on my mind. Continue Reading