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Data Center Racks

Keeping operating costs down is a key concern for chief technology officers and data center managers. With cooling as the biggest energy cost in running a data center, data center design should have a strategic data center rack strategy.

Though they consume no electricity and contain no moving parts, the configuration of the data center rack has a significant impact on the data center facility’s ability to become an energy efficient organization..

Hot Aisle/Cold Aisle

hot-aisle-cold-aisleAccepted as the most effective cabinet layout within a data center, hot aisle/cold aisle uses air conditioners, fans and raised floors as an infrastructure and focuses on separation of the cold incoming air and hot exhaust air.

In this layout, cabinets are arranged in rows resting on a raised floor. The front of each row becomes a cold aisle, where cold air pushed from air conditioners is ingested by servers and eventually dissipated into the hot aisle.

Cold Aisle Containment

cold-aisle-containmentCold aisle containment is typically utilized in a traditional perimeter-based cooling environment.Cold aisle containment encloses the cold aisle allowing the remainder of the data center to become a large hot air return. By containing the cold aisle, the hot/cold air streams within the data center are separated.

Hot Aisle Containment

hot-aisle-containmentHot aisle containment takes the opposite approach of Cold Aisle Containment, enclosing the hot aisle to collect IT equipment’s exhaust air and cooling it to make it available for equipment intakes. By returning the warmest possible air to the computer room air conditions the systems efficiency and capacity are improved.

Close-Coupled Cooling

inrowcoolingClose-coupled cooling aims to bring the heat transfer closest to the rack. Moving the air conditioner closer to the rack means there is a more accurate delivery of intake air and more immediate capture of exhaust air. The data center rack is adjoined to row-based handlers, and achieves efficiency through proximity.