XMission Shows Off Their Data Center Upgrades

Posted October 22, 2014 in
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XMission showed off their recent cooling system upgrades to the press and longtime customers. Photo: Tim Pehrson
You wouldn’t suspect that the corner of 400 S. and 100 E. would host a massive data center for one of Utah’s largest Internet providers. Believe it or not, that’s exactly where the newly upgraded data center for XMission sits. This facility, which is protected by cameras, biometric scanners and a neighboring security staff, has recently updated its cooling system to drastically reduce power consumption, while increasing stability and security. The tour available to long-time customers, members of the press and other V.I.Ps—was a quick look into just how committed XMission is to protecting our environment. Chief Operating Officer Grant Sperry was more than happy to share financial information as well as the technical process behind the facility, guided the tour. “2-percent of the energy consumption in the United States comes from data centers.” Sperry said. “If facilities hadn’t done this, the footprint would be closer to 4-percent.” The aforementioned upgrades make the airflow handling much more efficient. The data centers are divided into warm and cold aisles: pressurized floors pass cold air under the facility into the cool aisle, then server fans pull the cool air into the hot aisle, the air is then passed to the roof, where it is run through giant swamp coolers before being brought back into the cool aisle. During the tour, Sperry described the system as cyclical, “This loop keeps us from using mechanical refrigeration, all we use is a cycle of pulling hot air to the roof and then pushing cold air back down to the center.” The upgrades in question cost XMission roughly $500,000, but have cut their energy costs by 30-percent. While implementing this solution did require a $350,000 dollar loan, the energy savings will help payoff that loan in 5 years. When asked what benefits customers will receive, Sperry quickly replied, “These changes help keep our prices down and it also shows our dedication to sustainability which is important to many of our customers.” Seeing a company this size make such a contribution to our environment is another reason we should be proud, to do business in Utah.