Lee Hee-sung, second from right, country manager of Intel Korea, and Song Jung-hee, to his right, senior executive vice president of KT’s service innovation division, listen to Yun Dong-sik, head of KT’s cloud division, at a high-temperature ambivalence test center jointly built by the two firms in Cheonan, South Chungcheong Province, Tuesday. / Courtesy of KT
By Cho Mu-hyun
CHEONAN, South Chungcheong Province _ Mobile carrier KT and semiconductor maker Intel showcased a new test center Tuesday that can control the temperature of Internet data centers that will save on electricity costs.
Due to the recent scorching heat that has hit the nation, temperature maintenance using air conditioners for overheating data centers has been posing serious problems for a country trying to conserve energy.
The new jointly built high temperature ambience (HTA) test center saves air conditioning costs by allowing data centers to function in temperatures over 30 degrees Celsius. The optimal temperature for data centers is around 22 degrees.
After additional research, and commencing officially with an Internet cloud-based data center in Cheonan in 2013, the two companies plan to apply HTA to all 10 KT owned data centers in the country.
If the HTA system operates as planned, maintenance crew can set internal temperatures higher than 22 degrees without worrying about malfunctions. According to KT and Intel, for every degree that they can raise the temperature, about 7 percent of air conditioning costs are saved.
If the new system is applied to every KT-owned center, it is expected to save 8.6 billion won annually. Implementing the new system to every data center nationwide would save up to 44.8 billion, according to KT.
More and more data centers have been built due to the rising traffic caused by Internet-connected devices. The number has risen 17 percent annually from 2006 globally, according to KT and Intel.
“Intel has provided a futuristic data center model by building the HTA test center,” said Intel Korea country manager Lee Hee-sung at a press conference. “The HTA center built in cooperation with KT will certify Intel-based platforms as the industry standard.”
According to the Korea Information Technology Service Association, the number of data centers in Korea will rise 26 percent and energy consumption by them, 45 percent every year. There are currently around 100 data centers in Korea.
Rising electricity fees are a serious burden for information technology firms. In 2011, charges rose by 4.9 percent in August and 4.5 percent in December. They increased by a further 4.9 percent this month.
Out of the total electricity used in operating a data facility, over 40 percent goes into cooling, which can make an HTA system much-sought after technology by other companies in the industry. In the long term, the two companies plan to sell the new technology.
“The cooperation between KT and Intel is to secure a foundation in building a green-energy data center that can save costs and electricity consumption for the rising numbers of such facilities,” said Song Jung-hee, senior executive vice president of KT’s service innovation division, also at the conference.
“We will secure the know-how in making data centers function in high temperatures, and furthermore, open a consulting business in making such centers for domestic and foreign clients.”