Rackspace Goes Shopping for New Data Center Space

Rackspace US Inc. is converting an abandoned shopping mall near San Antonio into an office and data center complex that the managed hosting services firm hopes will win recognition for its green features.

For instance, John Engates, Rackspaces chief technology officer, said the company is testing sensors that could regulate air temperature in the data center based on the needs of different pieces of equipment. I think we all overcool our data centers to rules of thumb that were created back in the mainframe days, Engates said.

Rackspace also plans to use barriers, panels and curtainlike dividers to keep hot air exhausted by servers away from other equipment. In addition, it is investigating whether the roof of the former Windsor Park Mall could support solar panels.

Windsor Park Mall

Windsor Park Mall Randy Smith, Rackspaces real estate manager, said the company will put both the data center and office space on raised floors so the air temperature can be set on a cubicle-by-cubicle basis. The raised-floor portion of the data center will occupy 95,000 of the 1.2 million square feet of space in the mall. Building the IT facility and offices from scratch would have cost about $200 per square foot; Rackspace thinks the conversion will cost half that amount.

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