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The Matthew White column

How hot will your datacentre get – can it fry an egg?

I was remembering a badly designed datacentre many years ago having weird problems in the servers that I was responsible for. The servers would have weird software errors and occasional bluescreens. Tracking usage loads and peak times and security violations, I one day went into the server room after it went offline and just stood behind the racks.

It was hot – too hot to touch some parts. Not as hot as this, but close:
(this guys is cooking an egg on the CPU).

Later when I was in Sweden helping Ericsson build one of their new datacentres, I was working closely with the infrastructure architects to ensure our application and system loads would match their power draws. All power in had to be cooled out. Designing the cooling for a datacentre is just as important as clearly understanding the applications your will run on it. Designing a huge DC as big as multiple football fields from scratch was a privilege to be part of because of the specific use cases they had (they had a room that simulates air – seriously).

Most schools that build a data centre don’t have high performance computing needs like a global telco supplier, but the power usage and the costs of running are just as important to the senoir leadership team and the governors.

Flywheel’s consultants design and build over 100 datacentres for schools every year. It’s an area they know very well. For a list of schools they have installed, have a look at our case studies page to see how similar these are to your new school’s needs.