How to Regulate Temperatures in Your Data Center

Hot and cold aisle containment within data center design.

Server units contain crucial, invaluable files that are necessary for business operations. Without proper temperature standardization, the server units could overheat and become damaged. To keep your data center at the appropriate temperature levels, you will need to have an air flow and containment system in place for controlling temperature zones. Regulating the temperatures in your server aisles most likely will involve increased overall air flow patterns to help keep the system operating as required. Follow our guide for creating air flow management in your data center and regulate temperatures to safe and efficient levels.

Determine which Containment Model to Use

To begin regulating the temperatures of your server racks within server aisles, your data center specialist will need to decide which containment model is appropriate for your facility. He or she will examine the space, how many server racks you have, and will measure the collective heat output from your equipment. You must also evaluate the position of the cold air supply outlets and warm air returns relative to how your server racks are arranged. You should also take into consideration potential plans for data center expansion. After evaluating all these factors, your specialist may determine either a cold aisle or hot aisle containment model best suits your data center for temperature regulation. While each one controls air flow patterns differently, they are both effective in regulating the temperature of your data center for consistent cooling of the server racks within a data center enclosure.

Select the most effective Data Center Design

After you’ve worked with your data center specialist to decide which containment model will be best for your system, your team can then work to build the appropriate data center design. Because each data center will have various numbers of server racks and energy outputs, each one may need a specific layout. As you develop your design with your specialist, be sure to let him or her know of the location of your air duct returns and cables, as well as the humidity levels, so that you can create the most effective use of your air flow options.

Consider Panels and Tracks for Data Center Systems

To create your cold aisle or hot aisle containment enclosure, you will need to place divider panels at specific positions relative to the server racks. You can choose from various panel systems based on your specific needs and existing building construction. Strip panels can be used in data center designs for customized air flow protection without going outside of your budget. Rigid panels are designed to endure the high levels of heat produced from server racks and offer a slightly greater degree of security. Soft wall panels can also be used to regulate air flow patterns to keep data centers at the required temperature and are a good compromise between strip panels and rigid panel construction.

All three divider panel variations; strip panels, soft wall panels and rigid panel construction can be suspended from a “T” grid or dropped ceiling. Since the position of the divider panels relative to your equipment is critical, you should check to see if you have grid vanes directly over the proposed divider panel positions. If you do not have “T” grid vanes directly over the intended divider panel position, or do not have a “T” grid ceiling, you can still suspend any of the three divider panel types with a Uni-strut support system.

Add in Air Sealing Accessories

Finally, to keep your data center design at the proper temperature, you may need to consider adding air sealing accessories. Containment cubes, brush grommets and other air flow containment products can be incorporated into your data center’s layout for improved air flow management in and around the server racks.

Contact FabraCraft to consult with our data center experts to determine which panel option and air flow accessories can create the most benefit for your server racks’ hot or cold aislecontainment solution.
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