Feeds

Yahoo! opens chicken coop data center

A chanticleer for efficiency

Build a business case: developing custom apps

If you happen to be driving towards Buffalo, New York and you spy some big ole commercial-grade chicken coops in the town of Lockport, those aren't chicken coops. They're Yahoo! server coops, the most efficient data centers the company has built thus far.

As El Reg reported a little more than a year ago, Yahoo! had selected the Lockport site for its newest $150m data center so it could feed its servers with the carbon-free hydroelectric power that is generated from Niagara Falls. The New York Power Authority, which runs the hydropower generation in western New York and which has Niagara Falls as its main generating facility, guaranteed a total of 15 megawatts of hydropower to Yahoo! at a price that was estimated to save the Internet giant around $100m over a 15-year period.

That is real green (as in greenbacks) as well as real green (as in saving the planet from carbon dioxide and other forms of hot air). And speaking of hot air, the Buffalo area doesn't have a lot of it, which makes it perfect for an air-cooled data center like Yahoo! has build in Lockport.

Yahoo Lockport Data Center Wide View

Down on the server farm with the Yahoo Compute Coop

After Yahoo! had committed to building the Lockport facility, the US Department of Energy, seeking to splurge the Obama Administration's economic stimulus money, spread around $47m in cashish to help make data centers and telecommunications facilities more energy efficient; partners with the DOE kicked in another $70m in matching funds. Yahoo! got $9.9m in funding to help defer some of the costs of the Lockport data center.

The Yahoo Compute Coop is designed with open walls and to take advantage of the ambient air temperature and the natural airflow that the chicken coop design brings. Take a gander (or a rooster, as it were) at this closeup shot:

Yahoo Lockport Data Center Close Up

The Compute Coop: Almost like sitting your servers outside

Each of the Compute Coops measures 120 by 60 feet, and the open air walls, moderate temperature, and steadily blowing wind in the Buffalo area allows for outside air to cool the coop 99 per cent of the time during the year. Sometimes, Yahoo! will have to fire up some alternate cooling to keep the servers from melting. Yahoo! reckons that the Compute Coops have a power usage effectiveness (PUE) rating of about 1.08. PUE is the ratio of the total power used by the data center divided by the total power supplied to the computing equipment, and is a measure of how efficient a data center design is. And that is a very respectable PUE that is running up against the laws of thermodynamics.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Microsoft says 'weird things' can happen during Windows Server 2003 migrations
Fix coming for bug that makes Kerberos croak when you run two domain controllers
Cisco says network virtualisation won't pay off everywhere
Another sign of strain in the Borg/VMware relationship?
VVOL update: Are any vendors NOT leaping into bed with VMware?
It's not yet been released but everyone thinks it's the dog's danglies
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.