Data Center Containment

Products/Data Center Containment

Data Center Containment

Optimizing efficiency of Data Center facility equipment thereby reducing operational and maintenance costs is a key consideration in Data Center design.

Traditional data centers employ a hot aisle/cold aisle arrangement of the IT racks. The fronts of the racks face each other and draw cold air into the rack to cool rack mounted IT devices (i.e. servers, switches, storage, etc.). Conversely, the rear sides of the rows of racks face one another, expelling the hot air into the hot aisle. However, a limitation of hot aisle/cold aisle designs is that the air is free to move wherever it will. Further gains will be achieved if the hot/cold air is contained and channeled in appropriate directions.

Containing an entire row of air can improve capacity and energy efficiency by reducing by-pass airflow. The data center is fraught with power and cooling challenges. For every 50 kW of power the data center feeds to an aisle, the same facilities typically apply 100-150 kW of cooling to maintain desirable equipment inlet temperatures. Most legacy data centers waste more than 60 percent of that cooling energy in the form of bypass air.

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Data centers need more effective airflow management solutions as equipment power densities increase in the racks. Five years ago, the average rack power density was one to two kW per rack. Today, the average power density is four to eight kW per rack and some data centers that run high density applications are averaging 10 to 20 kW per rack.

Containment makes existing cooling and power infrastructure more effective. Using containment, the data center makes increasingly efficient use of the same or less cooling, reducing the cooling portion of the total energy bill. Data centers can even power down some CRAC units, saving utility and maintenance costs.

Containment makes running racks at high densities more affordable so that data centers can add new IT equipment such as blade servers. Data center containment brings the power consumption to cooling ratio down to a nearly 1 to 1 match in kW consumed. It can save a data center approximately 30-percent of its annual utility bill (lower OpEx) without additional CapEx.


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