A Comparative Study: Modular Versus Legacy Containment

Learn the effectiveness of two different types of cold aisle containment as they relate to IT inlet temperatures and data center air conditioning efficiency.

Bill Kleyman

March 17, 2015

2 Min Read
A Comparative Study: Modular Versus Legacy Containment

New data center platforms are being designed and built to support large amounts of new applications. These infrastructures are created to handle powerful workloads capable of distributing data and information all over the world.

In architecting the modern data center platform, administrators are striving to create an environment built on performance and efficiency. Part of the development process will always revolve around airflow and room-level control.

A Mature and Proven Method

Airflow Management (AFM) is a mature and proven method for reducing IT equipment inlet temperatures, increasing cabinet, row and physical infrastructure utilization, improving cooling efficiency, and other important physical and operational parameters within the computer room space. There are various strategies and implementations for AFM, many of which are influenced by the existing conditions within the data center.

Common AFM practices include, but are not limited to: sealing raised floor openings; installing blanking panels in unused cabinet u-space; sealing gaps in equipment rows; sealing the cabinet top, bottom and side rails; and installing hot aisle/cold aisle containment.

Cold aisle containment, being the most simplistic and commonly implemented form of containment, is the subject of this white paper from Upsite Technologies. The effectiveness of two different types of cold aisle containment, AisleLok Modular Containment and legacy ‘full’ containment, as they relate to IT inlet temperatures and data center air conditioning efficiency, are analyzed with their corresponding results presented.

Comparing Cold Aisle Contaiment

Airflow management is one of the most important parameters for optimizing operations and utilization of the data center. This comparative analysis of legacy containment to the new AisleLok Modular Containment solution was actually installed on the same non-contained data center. Legacy “full” containment is a constructed enclosure encompassing selected cabinet rows or a section of the data center space. AisleLok Modular Containment is an aisle containment solution applied to individual IT cabinets and is made up of two components: Rack Top Baffles and Bi-Directional Doors.

The Rack Top Baffles are applied magnetically to the top of individual IT cabinets, blocking exhaust air recirculation. The Bi-Directional Doors are applied magnetically to end-of-row cabinets, blocking the end of the aisle.

Both approaches showed significant improvement to IT inlet temperatures and ability to reduce CRAH centrifugal blower speeds without exceeding ASHRAE maximum recommended 80.6° F (27° C) IT inlet temperatures.

Download this white paper today to see how the results show both solutions had improved performance, but AisleLok Modular Containment shows a faster ROI and a lower total cost of ownership.

About the Author(s)

Bill Kleyman

Bill Kleyman has more than 15 years of experience in enterprise technology. He also enjoys writing, blogging, and educating colleagues about tech. His published and referenced work can be found on Data Center Knowledge, AFCOM, ITPro Today, InformationWeek, NetworkComputing, TechTarget, DarkReading, Forbes, CBS Interactive, Slashdot, and more.

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