Ted Samson IW writes "InfoWorld reports on an experiment in air economization, aka 'free cooling,' conducted by Intel. For 10 months, the chipmaker had 500 production servers, working at 90 percent utilization, cooled almost exclusively by outside air at a facility in New Mexico. Only when the temperature exceeded 90 degrees Fahrenheit did they crank on some artificial air conditioning. Intel did very little to address air-born contaminants and dust, and nothing at all to deal with fluctuating humidity. The result: a slightly higher failure rate — around 0.6 percent more — among the air-cooled servers compared to those in the company's main datacenter — and a potential savings of $2.87 million per year in a 10MW datacenter using free cooling over traditional cooling."