It’s a question every data centre owner has asked at some point – cold aisle or hot aisle? These terms refer to the layout of the server racks which hold all of a data centre’s computing equipment. The purpose of having a hot or cold aisle is to reduce energy costs by conserving energy and managing air flow.

At Secure IT, we provide both hot and cold air containment units, so we’re well placed to advise on which system would be best for your data centre.

Energy Efficient Data Centre

Energy Efficient Data Centre

Cold Aisle Containment

Cold aisle containment stops hot air mixing with cold air by creating a cold air chamber within a cold aisle. End of row doors, overhead vertical wall systems or aisle ceilings are installed so that the cooling system effectively sends airflow into the cold aisles.

Cold aisle containment can benefit your data centre by improving your cooling control and stabilising the temperature within your facility. Cold aisle systems can be useful if your data centre doesn’t meet Power Usage Efficiency (PUE) requirements as installations of cold aisle closures and in-row cooling can help reduce your overall energy usage. Some benefits of cold aisle containment include:

  • Reduced energy consumption, which saves money
  • The elimination of humidity and static problems
  • Reduced carbon dioxide emissions
  • Less chance of equipment failure and downtime as temperatures are stable

Hot Aisle Containment

With hot aisle containment, air conditioning units only receive hot air from the aisles.  Hot aisle systems, essentially work in reverse, by controlling the flow of ‘used’ warm air and directing it back to the Computer Room Air Conditioning Unit. Hot aisle containment involves collecting all that warm exhaust air that comes from the daily use of IT equipment and cooling it so that it can be reused in the air conditioning unit.

By separating the supply and return airflow, hot air containment controls and stabilises the temperature surrounding IT and other electric equipment. Some of the benefits of using a hot aisle containment system are:

  • They Work in raised floor and slab data centres
  • An increased cooling capacity
  • Hot and cold air mixing is eliminated
  • They reduce energy consumption and improve cooling efficiency

What type of containment unit do you use in your data centre? What other advantages do you see in both systems?