Toward the end of April, Yahoo announced the launch of its Lockport, New York data center. This represents the second New York facility for the company, as well as the second time it has leveraged its 'computing coop' data center design style.
Although the company hasn't been expanding as fast as some of its competitors in the cloud infrastructure space, experts have noted that Yahoo does have a robust data center footprint. The addition of the new Lockport data center, located approximately 20 miles east of Niagara Falls and about 30 miles northeast of Buffalo, will only serve to support and bolster the company's current service portfolio.
Yahoo first announced plans to expand its New York data center footprint in late 2013, noting that the initiative would include additional computing space as well as a customer care center. Now online and operational, the $170-million facility boasts two 30,000 square-foot computing rooms and 7.2 MW of power that comes courtesy of a state-of-the-art hydropower system.
Computing Coop Data Center Design
The second New York data center leverages a facility design unique to Yahoo, referred to as the Yahoo Computing Coop, or YCC. The specialized configuration enables the company to completely eliminate the use of mechanical chillers in their cooling system, relying instead on free air cooling to bring down the temperature in the server rooms.
The shape of the building is similar to a chicken coop, with an expansive, flat design that includes a narrow plenum at the peak of the slightly sloped roof. The plenum serves a very important purpose in the data center's cooling system, allowing for warm air to rise and exit through louvers at the top of the building.
Yahoo utilizes outdoor air to cool its servers for most of the year, and switches to an evaporation cooling system during the warmer months. The facility is also equipped with a number of temperature and humidity sensors in its two computing rooms to ensure that conditions are continually kept in the ideal range. The new Lockport data center includes more sensors than its predecessor.
Paul Bonaro, Yahoo senior director of data center operations, noted that the company took this opportunity to improve upon its initial computing coop design, and incorporated "1,000 little adjustments" for data center sustainability and efficiency. In addition to the extra sensors, the new Lockport facility was also reconfigured for easier access to the dampers controlling exhaust air.
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