Perhaps the most earth-shaking news at the Samsung/Dell CIO Forum was the announcement by Dell that they were certifying their data center IT equipment to much higher inlet air temperatures - sending the signal to data center operators that the equipment is warrantied at much hotter environmental conditions.
In the data center energy efficiency programs that I have delivered over the past three years or so, we have always used Dell's specification sheets to show attendees that manufacturers warranty their equipment at temperatures well above the ASHRAE guidelines.
We cite a specification for a Dell Powervault MD3000, which lists suitable inlet temperatures of 10 to 35 degrees Celsius (50 to 95 degrees F).
Now Dell has announced that their servers will be warrantied in environments that reach 45 degrees C inlet for no more than 90 hours a year, and that their networking and storage gear can have 40 degree C inlet air for as many as 900 hours a year.
This is big news, because it removes any possible obection to using nothing but outside air to cool a data center in any climate zone in the United States, and I suspect the specifications were set expressly for that reason.
Why? Dell showed that they are building modular data centers to support Microsoft's Bing search service that in an installation in Colorado went from bare ground to operational in four months. Dell claims a PUE of 1.03 for the 1 MW deployment, which can only be achievable using 100% outside air cooling. Dell also uses servers without onboard fans to get this amazingly low PUE rating.