The NetApp Research Triangle data center houses 36,000 square feet of data center space supporting 2,166 racks of equipment with a designed power load of nearly 25megawatts. That includes 1,800 racks for NetApp's engineering labs running at loads of 12 kilowatts per rack, another 360 racks supporting the company's IT operations and operating at 6 kilowatts a cabinet, and 30 network racks at 3 kilowatts per rack.
NetApp uses cold aisle containment, which separates the cold supply air from hot waste heat to maximize the benefits of free cooling. The system is designed to control the pressure of the supply air to ensure that it flows through the equipment and into the hot aisle.
The air supply temperature for the racks is set to 74 degrees. Elevating the temperature of the supply air allows NetApp to also raise the temperature set point for its chillers, saving energy and creating a cascading benefit. Air from the hot aisle is channeled to a side plenum where it can either be used to warm other parts of the building or vented to the outside.