Virtual reality and non-conductive liquids: data centers get innovative

A conference in Silicon Valley this week showed there's plenty of innovation happening in data centers

Google I/O is getting most of the attention this week, but a conference at the other end of Silicon Valley showed there's plenty of innovation happening in the word of data centers, too.

On the exhibition floor at the Uptime Institute Symposium, I/O Data Centers showed software that lets a facilities manager navigate through a data center in virtual-reality fashion. Using sensor readings from the equipment, staff can "fly" through aisles and in and out of server equipment, checking power and performance metrics along the way.

At another booth, 3M showed its Novec fire protection fluid, which is used in sprinkler systems and puts out fires by absorbing heat. It also has a separate application as a cooling liquid -- it's non-conductive, which means a motherboard can be completely submerged in it without short-circuiting, as 3M demonstrated.

Following is a slide show of these and other products on show at the Uptime Institute Symposium, which ran May 13-16 in Santa Clara, California.

James Niccolai covers data centers and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow James on Twitter at @jniccolai. James's e-mail address is james_niccolai@idg.com

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Tags 3MGreen data centerUptime Instituteservershardware systemsI/O Data CentersHewlett-Packardenvironment

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