Four Options for Better Airflow Management in Your Data Center

Posted by Gaw Technology on 9/29/2015 to Data Center Topics

There's no question that data center managers must incorporate air flow management systems to ensure optimal performance of their equipment. Servers that are facing greater storage and performance demands than ever before can overheat very quickly. According to Data Center Knowledge, servers need inlet air temperatures between 66°F and 77° F to function properly. This means that the volume of cooling air required is approximately 160 cubic feet per minute (CFM) per kilowatt (kW) for rack-mount servers and 120 CFM per kW for blade servers. 

In order to achieve this, data center managers must have airflow management systems that prevent the mixing of hot and cool air, which will ensure less energy is wasted and save on cooling costs as well. Well-designed containment can easily offset the energy costs required to cool your data center. However, airflow management and containment is not a cookie cutter solution. Each data center will require its own customized solution, which is why Gaw Technology offers four different options for cooling and airflow management to meet our customers' needs.

Rack Containment 

The first line of defense against air mixing is a rack air containment system. Gaw Technology delivers top-level rack containment solutions. Our patented heat containment system (HCS) mitigates any heat from escaping and releases it right back to the computer room air conditioning unit (CRAC) for effective data center cooling. Depending on your data center arrangement, we may also recommend airflow managers for switches and network devices or our HCS Airflow Manager to ensure optimal fan operation. Finally, an affordable solution that works for rack containment is blanketing panels, which can improve air circulation within an enclosure.

Aisle Containment

The goal for aisle containment is to close off any escape routes for cool or hot air to mix. This is done through several solutions. The first is End of Row Doors, which can contain the air in an aisle to prevent it from leaking out and remove any oversupply of cold air when necessary. Air containment ceilings and walls are another viable option that can help improve aisle containment. Finally, if your data center is very dense with equipment, we may point you in the direction of an Independent Containment System (ICS), a freestanding hardware that has been shown to significantly improve aisle containment.

In-row Cooling

Another solution that we offer is an in-row cooling system that can prevent air mixing and effectively cool servers.  In-row cooling systems are perfect for hot spot cooling in smaller data centers. They can be placed directly where IT equipment is its hottest, making them incredibly efficient. They are also very affordable. Companies that have a tight budget may not have the funds available to completely overall its data center's cooling system. In-row cooling systems are highly adaptable and address any hot spots directly. Additionally, if a unit fails, the row is affected rather than the entire data center, making it much easier to troubleshoot.

Room Containment

Finally, we offer several room containment solutions for macro level airflow management. When combined with rack and aisle air containment solutions, these room containment strategies can further optimize efficiency. One solution we offer is CRAC Collars for downflow systems, which can help control inlet air temperatures and reduce energy costs. Another is a raised floor grommet. Raised floor grommets allow cables to enter enclosures without letting air escape.

If you have questions about air containment, we encourage you to contact us today. We specialize in cabinets and racks for data centers of all sizes, and we can help you determine the right strategy to maximize cooling efficiency without raising your energy costs. Contact us today to learn more. 

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