How Much Containment Is Enough?

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The question of data center hot aisle and cold aisle containment is no longer “what is containment,” but now, “How much containment is enough?”  There is no one answer to optimum degree of containment, as architectural environments, business objectives, deployment constraints, and cost-benefit curves all weigh on the decision.

Data center power and cooling topics are of the top reasons data center operators visit Data Center Knowledge. There is a great interest in power and cooling topics (and projects) because they often bring a very quick return on investment.  This white paper from Chatsworth Products, Inc. explores the question of hot aisle and cold aisle containment, and how to decide what amount of containment is best for your data center.  First, it describes both sides of the argument, ranging from “a little containment is better than none,” to maximizing containment maximizes returns,” offering examples for each.  Next, it asks “How much containment is available?” and which containment to use, citing scientific studies on the advantages of one form of containment over another.  Lastly, it describes these three forms of containment, Hot Aisle, Cold Aisle, and Cabinet Containment in detail.

Learn both sides of the complex argument of “How much containment?”  Click here to download this white paper on the many opinions associated with air containment within the data center.

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  1. Subzero Engineering has installed over 1,000 data center containment systems around the world. The question of how much containment is enough? is directly related to the question as to how much air separation is enough? Clearly the less mixture of supply and return the greater return in energy savings. Partial containment is the main reason for inefficient control of AC temperature and humidity set points. This is why containment solutions need to address all equipment and not just some. This requires a level of custom containment solutions and not just containment for a specific rack design or manufacture.