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Nov 28 2013

Cool to the Core: PRIMERGY Servers with Cool-safe® Advanced Thermal Design

Hardware vendors as well as IT departments may not be fond of the allegation, but it rings true nonetheless: A lot of data centers are run like cold stores at around 20 °C (68 °F). As a result, cooling expenses have exploded – in some organizations, they already account for half of the power consumption and energy costs. However, IT departments don't have to fall victim to this trend: Fujitsu's Cool-safe® Advanced Thermal Design technology solves these problems in bulk.

To prevent server and application failures and related revenue losses, companies have been investing in sophisticated ventilation and cooling concepts. In doing so, they're facing two difficulties. First, the more performance they demand, the more efforts they must make to keep server temperatures at a normal level. Second, a recent Gartner survey revealed that today's cooling systems frequently consume about half of the energy required for data center operation. But since no firm seems willing to reduce computational resources, the only way out of this dilemma is to increase cooling systems' efficiency and cut into their power consumption.

Tried technology, modern hardware
To facilitate this, Fujitsu has developed its well-established Cool-safe® design several years ago. Cool-safe® used heat pipes and straight-through cooling (i.e. channeling cold air across heat-generating CPUs and RAM modules) to reduce the use of processor and cabinet fans. The technology was successful and a step in the right direction. But with processors getting ever more powerful and cooling costs going through the roof, we felt it was time for an upgrade and launched its successor Cool-safe® Advanced Thermal Design (Cool-safe® ATD) this fall.

Cool-safe® ATD enhances the "classic" concept by enabling select latest-generation PRIMERGY servers to run under "extreme conditions," that is, within a higher ambient temperature range. Previously, rack and tower models tolerated up to 35 °C (95 °F); the new systems now can deal with up to 40 °C (104 °F) before hitting the alert threshold. As a result, the data center air-conditioning is turned on at a later point in time, which helps cut air-conditioning expenses by 5 to 6% per additional degree. To achieve this, we've adapted the tried and tested Cool-safe® concept for modern, state-of-the-art hardware, more specifically, for Intel's latest Ivy Bridge- and Haswell-based Xeon processors (E5-2600 v2 and E3-1200 v3 families) and matching mainboards. Hence, Cool-safe® ATD is available only with a selection of our latest generation of mono- and dual-socket PRIMERGY rack servers. Customers and resellers can pick adequate components during the configuration process and automatically learn if their choices entail limitations with regard to other building blocks and features, e.g. the type of installable HDDs or support for tapes. Contrary to what one might expect, Cool-safe® ATD comes without time limits for extended temperature operation and most importantly does not have an influence on the warranty.  And that's not the end of it: customers who wish to deploy truly "eco-friendly" servers can opt for our new PSUs with 94 and 96% energy efficiency. Altogether, Cool-safe® ATD, better power supplies, and other system improvements will result in a 50% better server performance per watt – and that's where the real savings start.

Quintessence: Due to the large amounts that can be saved, cost-efficient cooling of servers and data center environments will inevitably become a "hot topic" on every CIO's agenda in the upcoming months. With Cool-safe® ATD for mono- and dual-socket PRIMERGY RX models, Fujitsu has a powerful solution in store that can help customers cut energy consumption and improve server performance per watt without negative side effects.

At which temperatures do you run your data center? Have you thought about raising the temperature?


Florian Frimmel


About the Author:

Florian Frimmel

Global Product Marketing Manager, responsible for PRIMERGY tower and scale-out servers, at Fujitsu 


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