Contrary to popular belief, the greatest data center cost is not the servers. It is the recurring hidden cost towards compensating for the improper cooling of a data center’s airflow. Several large companies run their data centers inefficiently by investing in cooling solutions to ensure that the hot air doesn’t compromise the operation of servers.
If you own a data center, is there anything you can do to bring down the cost of cooling?
Recent trends indicate that the use of virtual machines is on the rise and therefore, companies are able to get their hands on more servers for less power. Servers are also being modified to release less heat and consume less power. These factors have contributed to reducing the cost of cooling for data centers. However, there are still a few more things you can do to reduce the cooling cost even further.
Robert Sullivan, who introduced the concept of ‘hot aisle / cold aisle’ for data centers, believes that the time has come for us to embrace newer methods of cooling for data centers.
Hot and Cold Aisle Containment
The hot air dynamics of a data center can drastically improve by closing off the hot and cold aisles using containments. Although this might come with an increased set-up cost, the long term benefits are undeniable.
The key lies in meticulously sealing the air gaps between the racks as well as within the racks. Even the smallest uncontained space between the racks can affect the inlet temperature.
High Server Rack Perforation
Ensuring that the racks themselves, as well as their doors, do not interfere with the airflow can go a long way in maintaining the optimum temperature in your data center. This can be achieved with maximum perforation in the shelves and doors of your server racks. This reduces, to a great extent, the obstructions from the intake and exhaust openings of the equipment.
It is recommended that the racks and doors be perforated with a minimum of 65% opening for optimum temperature management – and mind you, that is the minimum you need. The more you can increase the percentage of perforation, the better it gets for your data center.
Air Inlet and Outlet Restriction
An unprotected opening, as small as 12”x6”, has the ability to reduce the cooling capacity of a data center by 1KW. Therefore, ensure that the cable inlet and outlet spaces are sufficiently covered to prevent any bypass of hot or cold air.
Following these steps may sound like a lot of work – and it is. However, implementing these steps can help your data center become more cost-effective and efficient.
At Hardy Racks, we deliver world-class customized racks, containment solutions and air restrictors for any data center requirement. Our racks come with an incredible 86% perforation rate, which is the highest from any brand, and we possess years of experience in consulting for effective data center layouts. To know more, get in touch with us now!