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Digital Realty CEO Bill Stein leaving, CFO Andy Power takes helm
Digital Realty CEO Bill Stein has been terminated from his role as CEO, effective immediately.
The colo giant announced today that its board of directors has appointed current president and chief financial officer, Andrew P. Power, as its CEO and to the board of directors, effective immediately.
In an SEC filing on the change, Digital said the board “approved the termination of A. William Stein as Chief Executive Officer of the company without cause, effective immediately” on December 13. No reason for the change was given, but it noted Stein will receive around $15 million in cash and various other separation payments and benefits.
According to another SEC filing from August 2021, Stein’s employment with the company was changed to “automatically be extended each year for successive one-year periods until either the employer or Mr. Stein provides 60 days written notice of non-extension prior to the expiration of the thencurrent term.”
Digital said in a statement: “Bill was explicitly terminated ‘without cause’ pursuant to his employment contract. This is different from being terminated for cause.”
Iceotope and Meta demonstrate liquid cooling for hard drives
Immersion cooling specialist Iceotope and social media company Meta have demonstrated that immersion cooling can be safely used with hard drive storage - by re-engineering an air-cooled storage system to be cooled by liquid.
The study found the liquid-cooled version of the system had a more uniform temperature, and the power required to cool the system was reduced to less than five percent of the system’s total power consumption. The silent operation of the system also protected the hard drive from acoustic vibrations which can be an issue for air-cooled hard drives.
The test took a standard commercial air-cooled, high-density storage system that held seventy-two hard drives in a 40U rack, along with two single socket nodes, two SAS expander cards, a NIC, and a power distribution board, and re-engineered it for single-phase immersion cooling.
The test was important because hard drives, with capacities up to 20TB, currently provide 90 percent of the storage in data centers (according to research by Cybersecurity Ventures). While increasing power densities are driving data centers to consider immersion cooling, hard drives have normally been excluded for fear that they might be incompatible with the technique.
According to Iceotope, the test found that hard drive systems in a rack form factor “turned out to be an ideal fit for precision immersion cooling technology.” One reason for this seems to be a change in hard drive engineering. While hard drives have normally been sealed to prevent the ingress of dust, the arrival of helium-filled hard drives means that such drives are now hermetically sealed, making them compatible with immersion cooling.
To carry out the test, Iceotope and Meta added an Iceotope precision immersion liquid cooling system, immersing the drives in dielectric fluid and fitting a dedicated dielectric loop and a liquid-to-liquid heat exchanger and pump.
Facebook-owner Meta then measured temperature variation across the hard drives and cooling pump power in the air-cooled and liquid-cooled systems.
The results showed the variance in temperature between all 72 HDDs was just 3°C, regardless of their location inside the rack. The cooling system released its heat to a secondary water circuit, and the drives operated reliably with rack water inlet temperatures up to 40°C.
On top of that, the system was efficient, with cooling power at less than five percent of the total power consumption. And the companies assert that liquid cooling will mitigate vibrations that have been known to cause damage or failure of hard drives.
Chassis immersion might seem an extreme option, but Iceotope argues that other forms of liquid cooling such as it is less invasive than cold plates, tank immersion, or two-phase immersion, and allows user access for servicing, and the ability to hotswap drives.
QTS New Jersey data center roof catches fire
A fire broke out at a QTS data center in New Jersey in the early hours of Wednesday, November 23.
The fire was reported at 02:45 am, and extinguished by 05:00 hours, with no casualties. However, the local fire department reports the fire was extinguished with heavy flows of water, and extra care had to be taken on the site due to flammable building materials on site to build an extension to the facility.
“Early Wednesday morning, authorities responded to a fire on a concrete and steel structure under construction adjacent to QTS’ Piscataway data center,” QTS said. “The local fire department... fully extinguished the fire shortly after arrival.”
QTS has been building a two-story, 90,000 sq ft extension to a data center on the site. The fire broke out in this new construction, and did not spread to the adjacent operational data center, which was unscathed.
The spokesperson explained: “QTS determined that several pallets of roofing material stored on the roof for future installation caught fire. The cause has not been determined. No injuries or customer disruption was reported. The operational data center adjacent to the construction site was not impacted.”
QTS bought the data center site from DuPont Fabros in 2016. The 38- acre campus already holds two facilities, as well as the new building under construction.