Data Centers

Improving Data Center Efficiency and Capacity With Aisle Containment

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Executive Summary

Power consumption and cooling requirements are the two primary issues that data centers are concerned with today. As green initiatives pick up and regulations grow stricter, aisle containment is rapidly evolving as an acceptable solution to maximizing resource efficiency in a resource center. This paper discusses aisle containment and suggests means by which data center operators and managers can make the solution more effective. This includes suggesting proper use of the solution and an acceptable configuration of the systems so that the exact financial results arising out of its implementation can be gauged. The paper studies use and configuration of different concepts and systems of aisle containment, which is more relevant because there is no standard literature to explain aisle containment best practices. The paper also gives guidelines on the design and implementation of an appropriate aisle containment system for a given environment. Aisle containment has been an evolving concept since the development of hot aisle/cold aisle concept in the mid 1990s. This is useful because data center managers are also sensitive to the impact of mixing hot and cold air in a data center. With the per rack load increasing by 3-4 times, data centers are continually required to update their existing infrastructure. This also increases the heat produced by data centers. Aisle containment is able to support this change because it can physically separate hot air and cold air in the data center with a partitioning apparatus.

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