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  1. #1
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    what do you consider "high-density"?

    I see data centers claiming they are high density @ 150W per ft2.

    Would you agree that is "high-density"?

  2. #2
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    Not even over my dead body.
    I'd say high density would be >400W/sqft in the US.

    Here in Brazil I have been seeing availability of over 10-12 kW/cabinet, as a standard.

  3. #3
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    We consider anything over 4.8kw/cab high density. A lot of times, we find that customers don't even use all of their power most months. Of course, we usually encourage them to buy more for easier scalability.
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Jmax View Post
    We consider anything over 4.8kw/cab high density. A lot of times, we find that customers don't even use all of their power most months. Of course, we usually encourage them to buy more for easier scalability.
    We consider the same as you. We consider high density above 5kw per cab. We do have some customers that go above that. Those are the ones running 2 x 208V 30A Power strips.

  5. #5
    Have you ever been in a cage built to 150W/sqft with 208V/30A A+B (so 5kW usable) cabinets? Trust me it is really really tight with standard 42" deep cabinets. So I don't think thats a crazy metric for the edge of high density.

  6. #6
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    Agree with all that 4.8-5kw is where high density starts. I would also add that most DCs offering true high density and not filling up their space with high density users, but creating high density zones on a client by client basis to manage the cooling requirements. For what it's worth!
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alhowey View Post
    Agree with all that 4.8-5kw is where high density starts. I would also add that most DCs offering true high density and not filling up their space with high density users, but creating high density zones on a client by client basis to manage the cooling requirements. For what it's worth!
    That's a really good point. We segment our data centers, so that certain areas can handle extremely high weight and power density, that has additional cooling etc.

    There are many customers who want who full cabs with 20A. And they tend to set an uneven power distribution in the data center. So we will often balance that with other high density zones.
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  8. #8
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    I would say 5kw is more of a standard. I would consider anything over 7-KW to be High density.

    1-3KW LOW
    4-6KW Med
    6+KW High

  9. #9
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    I have personally seen upto 30kW per cab, pretty impressive when you realize how much cooling it really needs. Its like cooling down a propane burner. But again those are the clients that pay about $100K+ a month for just for 5-7 cabinets in a small cage.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kusai View Post
    I have personally seen upto 30kW per cab, pretty impressive when you realize how much cooling it really needs. Its like cooling down a propane burner. But again those are the clients that pay about $100K+ a month for just for 5-7 cabinets in a small cage.
    That is impressive. Do you know what type of business it was running that type of hardware?
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jmax View Post
    That is impressive. Do you know what type of business it was running that type of hardware?
    Since I was just on a tour in that particular facility, they were running Dell Blades (3-4 full chassis per rack)I was told they were into virtualization.
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  12. #12
    I agree, anything 5kW and above would be considered high density by traditional raised floor providers. Providers with better cooling and heat removal will most likely reference 10kW and above as high density... particularly dropping in 3-phase circuits and actually using the allotted power :-)

  13. #13
    This is definitely a moving target. A decade ago anything over 2.4kw would have been "high density". Now racks with 10x that are not entirely uncommon. What's going to be "High Density" in 2024?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave G View Post
    This is definitely a moving target. A decade ago anything over 2.4kw would have been "high density". Now racks with 10x that are not entirely uncommon. What's going to be "High Density" in 2024?
    I dont know but I hope I use my flying car to get to the datacenter then...

  15. #15
    30KW per cabinet? Are they doing contained hot/cold aisles? I've not seen anything really over the 10-12KW that utilizes "traditional" cooling. Also, 3-4 blade chassis per rack doesn't seem like it'd really draw enough to justify 30KW.

    I'd love to see the guys that are doing this - I've never actually seen firsthand that type of density. I've heard about it in the Facebook/Microsoft/AWS realms, but never for standard cabinet colocation.
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  16. #16
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    Thank you all for the thoughtful replies. This is exactly what I expected, a variety of definitions and opinions.

    We consider "high density" 10kW per 42U cabinet or above.

    The maximum power density we can effectively cool in a 42U cabinet with no special requirement such as containment or heat removal is 34kW actual draw (4x30A/208V 3 phase primary power circuits per cabinet).

    We are starting to see some customers approaching that capacity. They are typically deploying high-performance compute clusters or blade server configurations.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by 360TCS View Post
    Thank you all for the thoughtful replies. This is exactly what I expected, a variety of definitions and opinions.

    We consider "high density" 10kW per 42U cabinet or above.

    The maximum power density we can effectively cool in a 42U cabinet with no special requirement such as containment or heat removal is 34kW actual draw (4x30A/208V 3 phase primary power circuits per cabinet).

    We are starting to see some customers approaching that capacity. They are typically deploying high-performance compute clusters or blade server configurations.
    What type of cooling are you doing and how? That number seems almost impossible.

  18. #18
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    For us, 5kw a cab is pretty much normal. I would say 8-10kw would be the low end of high density.

    ~30 sq. ft. per cabinet is pretty normal all considered (room for access and walkways), so 150w/sq ft (4.5kw a cab) is pretty normal/average.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by 360TCS View Post
    The maximum power density we can effectively cool in a 42U cabinet with no special requirement such as containment or heat removal is 34kW actual draw (4x30A/208V 3 phase primary power circuits per cabinet).

    We are starting to see some customers approaching that capacity. They are typically deploying high-performance compute clusters or blade server configurations.
    Wow, and I thought we ran pretty high with racks full of blades using half that.

    Do most facilities charge a cooling premium at these levels?

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by jeffrey404 View Post
    What type of cooling are you doing and how? That number seems almost impossible.
    Seconded - what kind of cooling are you using? The CFM that you have to be moving to cool that without any containment must make the datacenter feel like a wind tunnel.
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  21. #21
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    We use a unique combination of under floor and overhead cooling. The reason I posed the question was not to tout our capabilities. Even as a DC that focuses on "high density" deployments, we see more demand for the 5-10kW or 150W per ft2 capacities as Karl describes to be the "normal" or "average" end user requirement and typical DC cooling capacity.

    The reason I started the thread was that I continually see data centers describing their facilities as "high density" when they are designed to accommodate 150W per ft2, which I consider to be "standard"
    Last edited by 360TCS; 02-07-2014 at 12:23 PM.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by KarlZimmer View Post
    For us, 5kw a cab is pretty much normal. I would say 8-10kw would be the low end of high density.

    ~30 sq. ft. per cabinet is pretty normal all considered (room for access and walkways), so 150w/sq ft (4.5kw a cab) is pretty normal/average.

    Agreed. We see the same.


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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kusai View Post
    Since I was just on a tour in that particular facility, they were running Dell Blades (3-4 full chassis per rack)I was told they were into virtualization.
    I have a customer that runs around 18kW idle and then up around 30kW for just 6 or seven racks. They use their servers for rendering.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by 360TCS View Post
    We use a unique combination of under floor and overhead cooling.
    that would indeed have to be rather unique, especially as you say you don't use any containment or heat removal...

  25. #25
    We have 2x 48U racks of 14.4kW each! And that's a real consumption, not just for redundancy. We set them up around 3 years ago and currently we decided that it just makes no sense to make such setups: you save on space but loose on "cooling" fees.

    Such setup will definitely make sense for locations like Aurora CME where you need to pay around $20K monthly for a single rack of equipment.

    Our current setups do not exceed 6kW per rack.
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  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by 360TCS View Post
    The reason I started the thread was that I continually see data centers describing their facilities as "high density" when they are designed to accommodate 150W per ft2, which I consider to be "standard"
    what we currently see is that new servers consume less and less power and single CPU configurations have more and more cores, so in many cases going dual cpu is just an overkill for average user.

    Saying this in other words: metric computing power per kW consumed goes up and in general case people just don't need super high density setups.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by 360TCS View Post
    Thank you all for the thoughtful replies. This is exactly what I expected, a variety of definitions and opinions.

    We consider "high density" 10kW per 42U cabinet or above.

    The maximum power density we can effectively cool in a 42U cabinet with no special requirement such as containment or heat removal is 34kW actual draw (4x30A/208V 3 phase primary power circuits per cabinet).
    Wow. That's 11ish tons of cooling per rack. I presume you must be using a lot of 60 ton CRAHs to get that kind of density.
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