Data center facilities Definitions

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  • A

    automatic transfer switch (ATS)

    An automatic transfer switch (ATS) is a device that automatically transfers a power supply from its primary source to a backup source when it senses a failure or outage in the primary source.

  • B

    baffle (data center hot aisle containment)

    Baffle paneling covers unwanted space between racks, under the raised floor and above dropped ceilings in the data center, reducing energy consumption and power use.

  • Bloom Energy Server (Bloom box)

    A Bloom Box, officially known as an Bloom Energy Server, is a modular stack of solid oxide fuel cells that can produce electricity.

  • brownfield (brownfield deployment, brownfield site)

    A brownfield deployment, in information technology, is the installation and configuration of new hardware or software that must coexist with legacy IT systems.

  • building management system

    Building management system (BMS) is a computer system that tracks power used by IT equipment and air conditioning systems in the data center.

  • C

    carbon usage effectiveness (CUE)

    Carbon usage effectiveness (CUE) is a metric developed by The Green Grid to help organizations measure the amount of carbon used -- or carbon footprint -- in the daily operations of their data centers.

  • CEEDA (Certified Energy-Efficient Datacenter Award)

    CEEDA is a data center certification for the efficient use of energy.

  • computer room air conditioning unit (CRAC)

    A computer room air conditioning (CRAC) unit is a device that monitors and maintains the temperature, air distribution and humidity in a network room or data center. CRAC units are replacing air-conditioning units that were used in the past to cool data centers. According to Industrial Market Trends, mainframes and racks of servers can get as hot as a seven-foot tower of powered toaster ovens, so climate control is an important part of the data center's infrastructure.

  • computer room air handler (CRAH)

    A computer room air handler (CRAH) is a device used frequently in data centers to deal with the heat produced by equipment.

  • computerized maintenance management system (CMMS)

    A computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) is software that helps operations and maintenance staff identify and track the status of maintenance tasks and availability of replacement parts.

  • cow power (biogas)

    Cow power is a term for the conversion of manure to usable energy. The energy produced can supplement the electric power offered by a utility or power a facility, such as a factory or a data center.

  • D

    data center

    A data center (or datacenter) is a facility composed of networked computers and storage that businesses and other organizations use to organize, process, store and disseminate large amounts of data.

  • data center evaporative cooling (swamp cooling)

    Evaporative cooling, also known as swamp cooling, is a strategy for cooling air that takes advantage of the drop in temperature that occurs when water that's exposed to moving air begins to change to gas. You've probably experienced the effects of evaporative cooling if you've ever changed out of wet clothes because you felt chilled.

  • ducting (data center cooling)

    Ducting is the use of a metal or plastic pipe to carry air from one place to another.

  • E

    e-waste

    E-waste is any refuse created by discarded electronic devices and components as well as substances involved in their manufacture or use.

  • Emergency Power Off (EPO) button

    The Emergency Power Off (EPO) button -- sometimes called an EPO switch -- is a large red device in data centers that kills power to a particular piece of equipment, or to an entire facility, in the event of an emergency.

  • F

    free cooling

    Free cooling is an approach to lowering the air temperature in a building or data center by using naturally cool air or water instead of mechanical refrigeration.

  • fuel cell

    A fuel cell is an electrochemical cell that derives its energy from combustible substances such as hydrogen, methane, propane, methanol, diesel fuel or even gasoline... (Continued)

  • G

    green data center

    A green data center is a repository for the storage, management, and dissemination of data in which the mechanical, lighting, electrical and computer systems are designed for maximum energy efficiency and minimum environmental impact... (Continued)

  • H

    Hot spot/cold spot

    A hot spot/cold spot is an undesirable tightly-focused local temperature variation which often occurs when data center equipment is improperly cooled.

  • hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) clean agent

    Data centers and telecom rooms use hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) clean agent systems for fire protection to avoid damaging electrical and electronic equipment.

  • I

    intelligent power management (IPM)

    Intelligent Power Management (IPM) is a combination of hardware and software that optimizes the distribution and use of electrical power in computer systems and data centers. While the installation of IPM involves up-front cost and ongoing maintenance, the technology can save money in the long term as a result of reduced electric bills, reduced downtime and prolonged hardware life... (Continued)

  • K

    Kyoto cooling (Kyoto wheel)

    KyotoCooling is an energy-efficient free cooling system for data centers. Kyoto cooling uses outside air to remove the heat created by computing equipment instead of using mechanical refrigeration.

  • L

    limited combustible cable (LCC)

    Limited combustible cable (LCC), also called CMP-50 cable, is fire-resistant cable with insulation made of a synthetic material called fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP).

  • load bank

    A load bank is a device that generates a prescribed amount of electricity draw to test the reliability of electrical switching, generator output, uninterruptable power supply (UPS) systems and cooling in a data center.

  • load shedding

    Load shedding is a reduction of power demand by a utility provider during peak or stressed times. Participants voluntarily reduce demand for utility power and rely on secondary sources for uninterrupted operation, or lower or lose power supply in an involuntary load shedding event.

  • M

    mainframe (big iron)

    A mainframe (also known as 'big iron') is a high-performance computer used for large-scale computing purposes that require greater availability and security than a smaller-scale machine can offer... (Continued)

  • mechanical refrigeration

    Mechanical refrigeration, often referred to simply as refrigeration, is a process by which heat is removed from a location using a man-made heat-exchange system.

  • N

    National Electrical Code (NEC)

    National Electrical Code (NEC) is a set of regularly updated standards for the safe installation of electric wiring in the United States.

  • O

    Open Blueprint

    Open Blueprint is IBM's strategic view of the network computing services and the relationship between these services.

  • Open Compute Project

    The Open Compute Project is an initiative started by Facebook to share efficient server and data center designs with the general IT industry.

  • Open Rack

    The Open Rack specification is an open standard for server racks designed to integrate with other parts of Facebook's Open Compute Project (OCP).

  • Open Vault

    Open Vault is an open-source storage specification created by Facebook and the Open Compute Project (OCP).

  • P

    parallel processing

    Parallel processing is a method in computing of running two or more processors (CPUs) to handle separate parts of an overall task.

  • plenum

    In building construction, a plenum (pronounced PLEH-nuhm, from Latin meaning full) is a separate space provided for air circulation for heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (sometimes referred to as HVAC) and typically provided in the space between the structural ceiling and a drop-down ceiling.

  • power distribution unit (PDU)

    A power distribution unit is a device for controlling electrical power in a data center. Floor and rack-mounted PDUs can provide data for power usage effectiveness (PUE) calculations.

  • T

    The Green Grid Performance Indicator (PI)

    The Green Grid Performance Indicator (PI) is a set of metrics designed to help information technology (IT) teams assess current and future data center cooling performance. PI was developed by The Green Grid in 2016.

  • tin whiskers

    Tin whiskers are individual crystals of tin that grow spontaneously from a tinned surface, usually as a result of stress of some sort... (Continued)

  • U

    uninterruptible power supply (UPS)

    An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is a device that allows a computer to keep running for at least a short time when the primary power source is lost.

  • W

    wireless sensor network (WSN)

    A wireless sensor network is a group of specialized transducers with a communications infrastructure that uses radio to monitor and record physical or environmental conditions.

  • WUE (water usage effectiveness)

    WUE (water usage effectiveness) is a metric developed by The Green Grid nonprofit consortium to help data centers measure how much water a facility uses for cooling and other building needs.

  • Z

    zinc whiskers

    Zinc whiskers are tiny growths of elemental zinc that form on the surfaces of objects that are electroplated, or galvanized, with zinc.

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