Complete separation of cold and hot airflows
Cold aisle and hot aisle containment solutions provide a complete separation of cold and hot airflows. A cold aisle enclosure consists of a ceiling and sliding doors at either end to contain the cold air being pumped into the corridor either from air-conditioning ducts above, through vented floor tiles below or from in-row coolers. The enclosure keeps the server inlet temperatures constant which allows for higher inlet temperatures, resulting in a saving in overall cooling costs and, in some circumstances, enabling the use of free cooling even in warmer weather. A hot aisle enclosure can be designed to direct the hot air through grills or ducts in the ceiling of the enclosure into the ceiling void and round to the air-conditioning return, or in-rack cooling can be used to extract and cool hot air from the corridor.
Cold aisle containment solutions separate hot and cold airflows by enclosing the roof section between opposing cabinets on the cold aisle with safety glass panels. Both ends of the cold aisle are sealed off using sliding doors to contain the air. In addition, cabinets are fitted with side skirts and blanking panels between the equipment – the only route out for the air is through the equipment.
Improved server reliability
The result is a nearly constant temperature between the bottom and top of the rack, enabling the deployment of servers at any position within the rack. In traditional set ups 75% of server failures occur in the top third of racks due to increased temperatures. By bringing rack cooling under control in this way, these solutions can improve server reliability.
Reduced energy consumption
With an even spread of temperature within the cold corridor, the under-floor air temperature can be allowed to increase and this enables a significant reduction in energy consumption, reducing both costs and carbon footprint. The cold aisle containment solution can be retrofitted, and so its benefits can be experienced without a costly refurbishment or re-build.