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Data Center Optimization: Intelligent Hot and Cold Air Containment

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Your data center now distributes your platform all over the world and provides robust connectivity options.  At this point, in a mature platform scenario, you have solid controls, great visibility into your infrastructure and are even planning an expansion.

But what are you doing around optimization and efficiency? Are you creating optimal environment control mechanisms to ensure that your data center continues to run well? Basically, are you deploying intelligence around hot and cold air containment within your data center?

Data center containment strategies can greatly improve the predictability and efficiency of traditional data center cooling systems. In fact, The Green Grid views an air management strategy as “the starting point when implementing a data center energy savings program.” The reality, however, is a bit different. Most existing data centers are constrained to certain types of containment strategies. In this white paper from Schneider Electric and APC, examines intelligent containment methods available today, investigates constraints and user’s preferences, provides guidelines for determining the appropriate containment approach, and emphasizes the importance of ongoing air management maintenance.

Remember, hot air and cold air containment are the two high-level methods for an air management strategy, and both of them provide significant energy savings over traditional, uncontained configurations. So in regards to your existing data center – Why do we need to decide between hot air and cold air containment? Why not just contain both and run the rest of the room on building air? Containing both air streams provides no significant benefit except in cases where IT cabinets are located in a harsh environment (i.e. manufacturing floor). Containing a single air stream is enough to prevent hot and cold air mixing. So, which type of air containment is a better choice for existing data centers? This question has raised a lot of discussions among manufacturers, consultants, and end users. In reality, the best containment type will largely depend on the constraints of the facility.

Download this white paper today to learn about intelligent hot and cold air containment methods. Critical consideration topics include:

  • Complete facility assessment (ceiling height, plenum depth, air distribution, and more)
  • A look at all possible containment solutions (CACS, Ducted HACS, Row-cooled HACS, RACS, and others)
  • Understand the pros and cons of the outlined six air containment methods
  • Select containment according to common air distribution methods
  • Selecting the optimal containment hardware

Remember, Data center containment strategies can provide great benefits for data centers. Hot air and cold air containment are two approaches to do the containment deployment. The best approach for a specific deployment should be determined by assessing the facility constraints, reviewing all potential solutions, and selecting the right containment hardware. As your data center platform continues to grow, it will be even more critical to utilize intelligent environmental control methods. This includes optimal hot and cold aisle containment deployments for your existing data center platform.

About the Author

Bill Kleyman is a veteran, enthusiastic technologist with experience in data center design, management and deployment. His architecture work includes virtualization and cloud deployments as well as business network design and implementation. Currently, Bill works as the National Director of Strategy and Innovation at MTM Technologies, a Stamford, CT based consulting firm.

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