What is a high-density data center?

Typically, a design team works with customers who require flexibility due to disparate densities across their environment. But what exactly is a high-density data center? We explain further.

Our design team often works with customers who require flexibility due to disparate densities across their environment, and those densities continue to increase. So just how dense is a high-density data center?

Understanding a High-Density Data Center

Densities supported by a traditional data center typically range from 3kW network racks up to 20kW high-performance compute racks. In recent years, demand for racks as high as 50kW and 100kW has increased.

Since its inception, Sabey Data Centers has designed its data halls with density in mind. The hot aisle containment design provides clients flexibility and peace of mind to configure their rows without having to think about the placement or cooling requirements of their high-density racks. Our facilities cool dense configurations with low impact air cooling and without the use of DX for most of the year.

Across the portfolio, we base our primary cooling systems on a nominal 20-degree difference between the hot and cold aisles, operating with a positive cold aisle pressure. In this system, the room is flooded with cool air while the server’s internal fans move the air and cool the units. While the 100kW rack is not a daily request (yet), we know we can do it because we specifically test for it.

How Sabey Data Centers Operate Differently

Sabey Data Centers is one of the only data center companies to commission our mechanical systems by checking not just their ability to dissipate heat, but also to move air. Far from a trivial undertaking, we firmly believe this to be the only way to ensure that a design will perform as expected. However, as the equipment required to commission against both standards didn’t yet exist, we had to invent it.

We tapped our longtime partner McKinstry to help us bridge what we perceived to be a glaring gap in the commissioning process, and the Mobile Commissioning Agent was born soon thereafter. Not the world’s flashiest name, but an effective tool to simulate both server heat load and airflow. We deploy multiple MCAs across a data hall to exhaustively vet the system’s full capabilities. By contrast, the typical industry practice—using load banks for commissioning—does not adequately simulate server airflow and so may fail to reveal inadequacies in the air movement capacity of the HVAC system. The enhanced commissioning provided by Sabey MCAs gives our customers full confidence in our performance commitments to them.

Our team continues to explore new types of cooling with a focus on delivering the most efficient platform possible for our customers. As use cases like artificial intelligence increase compute density exponentially, we are also designing our facilities to flex for emerging liquid and immersion cooling techniques.

There is a home for high density applications at a Sabey Data Center now and in the future.

Want to learn more about high-density data centers and colocation, click here.

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