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The Data Dome: A Server Farm In a Geodesic Dome 62

Posted by samzenpus
from the keeping-it-cool dept.
1sockchuck writes In a unique approach to data center design, the new high-performance computing center in Oregon is housed in a geodesic dome. The new facility at the Oregon Health and Science University requires no mechanical air conditioning, using outside air to racks of servers reaching densities of 25kW per cabinet. The design uses an aisle containment system to separate hot and cold air, and can recirculate server exhaust heat to adjust cold aisle temperatures in the winter. It's a very cool integration of many recent advances in data center design, combining elements of the Yahoo Chicken Coop and server silo in Quebec. The school has posted a virtual tour that provides a deep technical dive.
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The Data Dome: A Server Farm In a Geodesic Dome

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  • Re:Moisture? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dan East (318230) on Monday August 18, 2014 @05:01PM (#47698367) Homepage Journal

    In the video the narrator specifically states that the incoming air is filtered.

  • by raymorris (2726007) on Monday August 18, 2014 @05:20PM (#47698499)

    In Portland, it's reasonably cool MOST OF THE TIME.
    Temperatures reach or exceed 90 F (32 C) on 14 days per year and reach or exceed 100 F (38 C) on 1.4 days per year on average.

    I'm thinking this project will last about 350 days.

  • Re:Moisture? (Score:4, Informative)

    by JWSmythe (446288) <jwsmytheNO@SPAMjwsmythe.com> on Monday August 18, 2014 @05:22PM (#47698507) Homepage Journal

    You can take a look at their official page. http://www.ohsu.edu/xd/about/initiatives/data-center-west.cfm [ohsu.edu]

    The tour video and text talk about plants outside filtering. The video around 3 minutes, shows additional filtering inside.

    I suspect prevailing winds will really screw with the site cooling.

    The "Virtual tour" has more details than the rest. Nothing about humidity.

    Their security seems odd. They talk about the security being very strict. The video shows the inside of each "pod" to be open to the common hot air area in the upper part of the roof. So they have security, but you can get around it by not going through the doors. {sigh}

    I never got the idea of sticking square boxes in a round hole. They're wasting a lot of good real estate by leaving all that extra space between the servers.

    It seems like it was drawn up with an ideal world in mind, which usually doesn't translate well to the real world.

  • Re:Nonsense (Score:4, Informative)

    by bobbied (2522392) on Monday August 18, 2014 @05:58PM (#47698761)

    It's only cold in space when you are in the shade. Direct sunlight is pretty hot stuff, but if you use reflective surfaces it limits the absorbed energy.

    The problem with space though, is it is a vacuum and usually weightless. No convective cooling, only radiative cooling. Which is why they put a huge ammonia based cooling system on the ISS that drives external hot plates they keep in the shade when they can. So apparently, cooling stuff in space isn't all that easy or cost effective.

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