Data center containment is an area that has been experiencing phenomenal growth in the last couple of years, especially due to its capability of optimizing data center efficiency.

Hot And Cold Aisle Data Center ContainmentTypically, over the years, data centers have been designed with the IT equipment racks arranged in rows. The front of racks from both the sides face each other and are continuously cooled so as to keep the IT equipment inside in a cool state. This thus creates the cold aisle. Similarly, the rear of the racks face each other and are responsible for expelling the hot air out from the IT equipments, thus creating the hot aisle.

Cold aisle containment is the solution by which the cold air is contained in the cold aisle, either by constructing high vertical walls, end of row doors, or aisle ceilings. By this technique, the cold air does not escape out and air flow management is much better. Similarly, hot aisle containment is where the hot air is contained in the hot aisle and is not allowed to mix with the cold air in the cold aisle.

Data center power and cooling efficiency statistics reveal that for every 50kW of power that is supplied to the IT equipment, as much as 100 to 150 kW is needed for supplying cooling to the environment. An alarming 60% of cooling energy gets wasted in the form of bypass air. Data center containment is the solution to this inherent inefficiency and is becoming successful in bringing down the power to cooling ratio to even 1:1 in some cases. Properly implemented containment solutions have been known to reduce utility consumption bills by as much as 30%.

Like any other operational efficiency solution, containment is a solution that has to be managed and needs to be assigned a single owner. Typically, the stakeholders in a data center are the facilities staff, the IT staff, and the data center operations employees. Experts reveal that these 3 groups typically have differences in terms of their favored temperatures, and, therefore, are designating a single owner to the containment implementation is necessary.

Containment is needed in data centers and is a best practice followed by most modern data centers. For more inputs on containment and designing and implementing the best of hot aisle/ cold aisle data center containment techniques, do get in touch with Lifeline Data Centers today.

Alex Carroll

Alex Carroll

Managing Member at Lifeline Data Centers
Alex, co-owner, is responsible for all real estate, construction and mission critical facilities: hardened buildings, power systems, cooling systems, fire suppression, and environmentals. Alex also manages relationships with the telecommunications providers and has an extensive background in IT infrastructure support, database administration and software design and development. Alex architected Lifeline’s proprietary GRCA system and is hands-on every day in the data center.