Cloud datacentre Engineer

It’s too darn hot… not really

I’m sat in the pleasant luxury of my air conditioned office looking down at the melting tarmac in the car park. In the tenements of Newark the residents have all the windows open trying desperately to catch a breath of air. Most people don’t move though occasionally we see groups of street kids running in and out of a fire hydrant that is spraying water into the street. Heatwave!!!

You know the scene. You’ve seen the movie. It applies to Newark Nottinghamshire just as much as Newark New Joisey. Except as I say, I’m all right Jack. My aircon is working perfectly and I take an occasional sip of a cool drink filled with ice to add that perfect foil to the temperature outside.

Letting the imagination flow a bit here. The weather got me thinking about the cooling system in our Newark datacentre. It’s based on free air cooling which means that it uses the ambient outside temperature to cool the inside of the DC when it is lower than the spec for inside. At this time of the year the air conditioning units are kicking in on a regular basis whereas for a big chunk of the year they lie dormant. They kick in when it’s 22 Degrees Centigrade outside.

I was hoping to show you a graph of the power consumption of an ac unit relative to outside temperature but I haven’t got one handily logged. What I do have are graphs showing the liquid temperature in the outside cooling units compared with the controlled inside temperature.

We expect to see wide swings in outside temperature as we go through 24 a hour period but the inside temperature needs to stay nicely within a narrow band. Interesting to see that you can probably identify the cloudy and therefore slightly cooler days in the Newark area from the lower peaks in outside temperature.

Outside temperature:


Inside temperature (different, narrower scale):

I can’t go out with my baby tonight cos it’s too darn hot… except I can 🙂

Business Cloud datacentre

Nobody around here complaining about the weather

cooling plant monitoring screen in Timico's Newark data centreWe often hear people complaining when it rains – great weather – if you’re a duck. Well it’s stopped raining here in Newark although I understand the river Trent is still running high and I see from Facebook that trains are delayed due to flooding.

It’s bloomin’ cold out though. Staff arriving for work are wrapped up well, scarves around their faces, hands thrust firmly in pockets. It may come as a surprise to many of you that in this freezing cold weather the old “duck” saying has a modern day equivalent which is “great weather – if you’re a data centre”.

Uh? 🙂

broken gear End User

Aargh it’s 30 degrees and the Eastcoast train aircon is broken!

the temperature in London today hit 30 (feels like 32 according to my phone) and the train aircon is broke!It’s the hottest day of the year so far. People are frying eggs on car bonnets and the homeless have left London for cooler climes – it’s too hot underneath the arches for a comfortable kip.

The suits are sweating buckets and wishing it was acceptable to turn up for work in shorts. The ladies are looking lovely in the summer sun.

Most people are complaining about the heat. Those that aren’t are taking the mickey out of friends  just packing for their annual holiday in Marbella or Benidorm  or Lanzarote or Torremolinos – you know  – places less warm than London.

School’s out. Urchins run wild in the radiatingly hot city streets, shrieking under plumes of water escaping from broken fire hydrants. Their parents, sapped of care, languish in the little shade afforded by the concrete tenements they call home. There is no breeze. There is no letup from the infernal heat.

In fact neither is there any air conditioning on this train – the 18.30 Eastcoast from Kings Cross to Edinburgh stopping briefly to let me off at Newark to get my connection to Lincoln. I’m on my second can of diet Coke and second bottle of sparkling water with ice!

This must be what it is like on the Chennai to Bangalore Express (dep 13.00 arr 14.45 daily). At least those in steerage can catch a little breeze sat on top of the carriage

Ah well.

Yes please love – another bottle of mineral water with plenty of ice. Thanks…

PS I realise there are no fire hydrants in London. These are images more typical of New York in summer. Also the choice of Indian train service was purely random. However they both made the cut for artistic effect. Final answer.