A PUE of 1.0 means that no power is used for cooling and power distribution, and Stanzione says he can get close to that mark with the mineral oil. They are cooling an entire 42U rack with about 250 watts of power at the moment in the prototype system, he said.
Green Revolution isn't disclosing the prices of its system, and its cost depends on whether they are being installed in a new data center or retrofitted, said Tlapak. A retrofit system has a longer payback, within three years, he said.
Ranger cost $30 million and is expected to be in operation for about four years. The computing center may spend a similar amount on its next system, but the system performance gains will mean increase power usage and Stanzione estimates that the next system cost $3 to $4 million in power.
"That's not a curve we can stay on forever," Stanzione said.
He believes that to reduce the power curve something will have to change; either the fundamental technology in which transistors are built, the architectures in which computers are built, or better ways to build software will be needed.
Patrick Thibodeau covers SaaS and enterprise applications, outsourcing, government IT policies, data centers and IT workforce issues for Computerworld. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @DCgov or subscribe to Patrick's RSS feed. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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