The Data Centre and IT industries have been under pressure to reduce energy consumption for a long time with the EU Code of Conduct for Data Centres being introduced in 2008. Reduced energy consumption needs to be balanced with the requirement for data cooling to ensure servers are kept at optimum temperatures to protect the integrity and extend the life of IT equipment.
What is aisle containment?
Aisle containment works alongside your cooling method to ensure you reduce your energy costs and maximise return on investment, while keeping your servers safe from excess levels of heat.
In a data hall, your ACU unit works hard to keep servers at a set temperature. However, hot server exhaust air mixes with the cold air generated from the ACU, meaning your air conditioning needs to work harder or you need to drop the cooling temperature even further. This increases your energy bill and your carbon footprint, while reducing efficiency.
Aisle containment is a solution which helps separate hot server exhaust air from cold air generated by your ACU, meaning your cooling system doesn’t need to work as hard and less energy is consumed. The solution involves secure doors and a roof which seals the aisle (there are different options available).There are two different ways of setting up an aisle containment solution: cold aisle containment (most popular) and hot aisle containment (allows the data centre operator to re-use hot server exhaust air within their heating system, if set up a certain way).
What’s the difference between cold aisle and hot aisle containment?
The principles of the solution remain the same for cold aisle and hot aisle containment, but the set-up is different.
With cold aisle containment, server cabinets are lined up with hot air exhausts facing out from the aisle. Cold air from the ACU is contained within the aisle and hot air is unable to enter and mix.
For hot aisle containment, the server exhausts face into the aisle, and it is the hot air (not the cold air) which is contained within the aisle. This hot air is then safely vented away from the cold air using a plenum, and in certain cases can be re-used within a client’s heating system.
How can aisle containment benefit you?
Aisle containment is becoming increasingly popular within the data centre industry due to the benefits it brings. The core benefit is return on investment – making the implementation of an aisle containment system a good business decision. Additionally, power usage effectiveness (PUE) is increased, you’ll make cost savings on your energy bill, server equipment life is extended, and hot spots are reduced. Aisle containment also provides numerous benefits to the environment by reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions.