Importance of Data Center Aisle Containment

The introduction of data center aisle containment has had a significant impact on the way in which these facilities are designed. This is because data center aisle containment delivers a host of impressive benefits, to both the facility owners and the planet.

An Overview of Data Center Aisle Containment

Aisle containment is a system that separates the hot air being emitted by hardware from the cooled air needed to maintain the functionality of this equipment. By avoiding the risk of air of very different temperatures being mixed, the data center can enjoy a consistent and predictable cool temperature, which helps to keep IT equipment from overheating. This, in turn, ensures greater uptime for hardware and a longer usable life for this expensive equipment.

Helping To Save Energy

Part of good data center management is keeping an eye on costs, and optimizing the use of all resources, from finances and staff to hardware. This makes data center aisle containment a vital part of maintaining cost and energy efficiency.

By keeping aisles contained, it is possible to significantly reduce the cost of keeping a data center at the required cool temperature, and also provides benefits to the environment, as containment reduces the data center’s carbon footprint. This means that opting for aisle containment is an excellent way to meet sustainability goals, with quantifiable decreases in carbon emissions once it is implemented.

Types Of Data Center Aisle Containment

Data center aisle containment comes in two main types: hot aisle containment and cold aisle containment. The choice of which type of aisle containment to implement will depend on the overall design of the data center, as factors such as the layout and size of the space can have an impact on the best approach.

Hot aisle containment is a system in which hot air, which has been exhausted from IT hardware equipment, is guided back to the facility’s air conditioning return without it meeting the cool air intake for this machinery. This is achieved by using a physical barrier for directing the hot exhaust air,together with doors at the end of the aisle and an arrangement of baffles and ductwork. As the hot air tends to rise, drop ceiling plenums are often chosen as a means to direct the exhaust air back to the AC system.

Cold air aisle containment fully encloses an aisle in order to ensure that the hardware within will receive a consistent and uniform supply of air at the correct temperature level. This system relies on air flow controls which are configured to meet the specifications of each aisle, thereby optimising the efficiency of the air delivery and preventing the risk of any hot spots of air. In addition to doors at the end of the aisle, cold air containment enclosures will also feature a roof to ensure the air supply is maintained.