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Why the one-size-fits-all approach does not work when it comes to aisle containment

Fuelled by the surging computational requirements of AI and Media applications, the data center cooling market is estimated to reach USD 7.42 billion by 2026 and grow at a CAGR of around 4% till 2026. Now, this translates to more power consumption, which can result in higher costs. That’s where hot and cold aisle containment is useful as it is one of the ways to prevent servers from overheating and ensure high energy efficiency. 


Containment has been shown to increase cooling capacity by 40% in data centers both large and small while saving on cooling costs and extending the life of IT equipment.

How it works

Hot and cold aisle containment creates a physical barrier between hot air produced by servers and cold air produced by the air conditioning unit. The hot air is removed by an exhaust fan, while the cold air is sent to the servers, to help keep them performing at optimal levels.

Here are four things for you to consider when it comes to designing a hot and cold aisle system

Whole or one? 

You’ve got different types of hot and cold aisle containment systems varying from a single row, self-supported to entire server rooms. Choosing one depends on your requirements. Opting for the whole server room is going to be more cost-effective for a large company with multiple servers. But for a small one, a single row system may prove less expensive.

What about doors?

Sliding or swinging? While both offer a clear aisle view, the former makes for easy entry and exit with the best security, but the latter are a better option if space is limited or the data center layout unusual. This is important because gaps created by a poorly fitted door can make the cooling inefficient.

And Ceilings?

These also affect performance. Ceilings made of rigid aluminum frames can be used in both cold and hot aisle scenarios. You have special shrink-away ceilings that automatically fall away in the event of a fire to allow suppression systems to work effectively. Another choice is mechanical ceilings that are easier to integrate with existing smoke and heat detection systems.

Do curtains really matter?

Curtain containment for hot-aisle chimneys ought to be considered if there are overhead obstructions. Curtains tend to be economical and flexible, allowing for tight sealing as well as full fire suppression access.

Just as you invest in custom-configured servers and accessories for your data center, you ought to create a strategy that allows for the best cooling options keeping your costs low as this pays dividends in the long run.

If you need assistance in aisle containment design, do get in touch with Hardy Racks’ customer support team.

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