Yahoo soups up data center efficiency

A cold-aisle containment system with cooling-optimized "podules" gives the Yahoo data center a PUE of 1.21.
By Source: Rich Miller, Data Center Knowledge June 25, 2009

The Yahoo data center in Quincy, Wash., is slightly more efficient than Microsoft and rates close to Google’s data center, according to a report by Data Center Knowledge . Yahoo’s chief architect of the data center revealed the details Tuesday after maintaining a low profile on the subject, compared to its two rivals.

Adam Bechtel, the data center’s chief architect, described the innovations in cooling design at the O’Reilly Velocity 2009 conference in San Jose, Calif. The patented cold-aisle containment system integrates an overhead cooling module, building the air conditioning units into the top of a "podule" of cabinets packed with servers.

The decision to build its own data center came in 2005, after Yahoo discovered that its power usage was doubling every 10 months. The new design lowers the Yahoo data center’s power usage effectiveness (PUE) to 1.21, said Bechtel.

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