A conversation in 2011 between Joel Stone, Vice President of CenturyLink’s Global Data Center Operations and John Alaimo, CenturyLink Data Center Systems Engineer, raised an interesting question: ‘How can we lower the amount we are spending on powering and cooling our data centers?’
At the time CenturyLink was spending over $80 million every year on electricity in its data centers. This meant the question was more than just rhetorical: it was essential and business-critical to find an answer.
The solution began with inlet temperatures. Measurements showed that discharge temperatures were averaging 55°F, which fell a long way short of ASHRAE guidelines (guidance related to heating, ventilation, and air conditioning that helps ensure efficient data center power and cooling management).