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Check the weather!

Will your energy source dry up in the summer heat, just when your cooling systems need it the most? Image courtesy of Robert Linder.

When choosing a new site for a computing center, don't forget to check the weather!

A recent post on the Compass Datacenters blog explores the effect of drought on data centers. The author, Chris Crosby, points out that not only are some centers at least partially powered by hydroelectric power, but many also rely on a steady water supply to cool their server rooms. Crosby argues in favor of considering how prone your site is to droughts before selecting a water cooling system – and he makes a cogent point.

Although the availability of water for cooling systems is a new angle on the concept, this isn't the first time that climate and computing centers have intersected. In October 2011, Facebook announced plans to build a massive data center just 62 miles south of the Arctic Circle in order to save both energy and money on cooling costs. Meanwhile, the Green Star Network is already running an infrastructure-as-a-service platform that migrates from site to site depending on which locations currently have access to a renewable energy source.

Whether you are trying to find ways to decrease the environmental footprint of your computing center, or just trying to make sure that climate-induced power outages and droughts don't interfere with the smooth running of your facility, the lesson here is clear: don't forget to check the weather!


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