When it comes to server rack layout, hot aisle/cold aisle containment is still the most widely used layout due to its simplicity and effectiveness. The layout for the containments was conceived by Robert Sullivan and accepted as the best practice for cabinet layout within a data center for temperature and airflow management. In its simplest function, the containment uses air conditioners, fans and raised floors as a cooling infrastructure. The aim of the layout is to separate the cool inlet air and the hot exhaust air.
Aisle Containment Working
In this containment, the network or server cabinets are adjoined into a series of rows placed on a raised floor. The fronts of the racks face each other, creating the cold aisles. Cooling equipment are placed around the perimeter of the rooms or at the end of the hot aisles. This pushes the cols air under the raised floor and through the cold aisle. Perforated raised floor tiles are positioned in the cold aisles to concentrate the cold air to the front of the racks. The cold air is processed by the servers and let out as hot exhaust air which is routed back to the air handlers.
The heat removal capacity of this design is attributed to the raised floor height and perforated tile placement.
Aisle Rack Configuration
With the increasing popularity of the hot aisle/cold aisle configuration, smoked and glass front doors were replaced by perforated ones. Now, perforated racks have become a standard requirement for the configuration to improve airflow management. Apart from the door, it is important to remove any part of the enclosure that can impede airflow. In fact, blanking panels have become an important part of the setup since they prevent hot air from reentering the racks.
Apart from accessories, it is important for your staff to ensure proper placements and spacing to allow for optimal heat dissipation. You can take into account, cabinet footprint and enclosure depth for deep racks which house legacy servers.
Although the hot aisle/cold aisle containment can have its limitations, coupling the configuration with the right accessories can go a long way in improving the airflow efficiency at your data center.
At Hardy Racks, our server racks come with 86% perforation, the highest from any brand in the world, making them the ideal choice for hot aisle/cold aisle containment. We also provide high-quality server accessories for you to make the most of the setup. Get in touch with us to know more.