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Warming up to data efficiency depends on how you cool off

Let’s face it, every enterprise is power-hungry. This is why having an efficient data center cooling system can keep the power up and costs down.

Cooling a data center is one of the most important, ongoing discussions in the industry as a poorly cooled facility places stress on all rack-mounted devices, which can damage equipment, lead to downtime and incur higher operating costs.

In 1993, Robert Sullivan developed the standard hot aisle/cold aisle cabinet layout for data centers. Today, the adoption of this practice is over 80%. But the criticism of Sullivan’s original layout is that warm exhaust air blows from one row into the intakes of the next row. Introducing hot and cold aisle containment may help decrease degradation.

Containment involves placing a door at the end of each aisle and barrier panels from the tops of cabinets to the ceiling, to create sealed enclosures around cabinets, thereby making the cooling process more efficient.

The aisle containment approach to heat separates the cold supply airflow from the hot equipment exhaust air.

Hot aisle containment works by using a physical barrier to direct hot exhaust back to the AC return system.

Cold aisle containment on the other hand isolates cold air, preventing it from mixing with the hot air.

Another method is to partially contain aisles by hanging special plastic strips – like in grocery store warehouses — at the ends of aisles. This is easier and cheaper to implement and control and is supposed to be about 75% as effective as full containment.

One of the other methods of cooling becoming popular in the data center world is “liquid cooling”. This type of cooling – which uses a special water block to conduct heat away from the processor –came into the spotlight because of cryptocurrency servers that consume a lot of power.

Another method is to start at the rack level. Perforated doors can enhance airflow and help to eliminate thermal short circuits and hot spots. Sometimes, perforated doors may be the only ventilation needed if the data center has enough air-conditioning to dissipate the heat.

If you are facing the heat of power consumption, get in touch with Hardy Racks today. Our expert consulting services help to ensure that your data center or server room uses the optimal layout for efficient heat management and smooth operations.

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